‘Dirty Harry’ arrested for smuggling Indian family who froze to death

‘Dirty Harry’ arrested for smuggling Indian family who froze to death
via NEWS9 Live (left), Vaishali Patel (right)
Ryan General
March 6, 2024
A man known as “Dirty Harry” has been arrested two years after a family of four froze to death attempting to illegally cross the U.S.-Canada border between 2021 and 2022, authorities said.
About the victims: The family of four — Jagdish, 39, and Vaishaliben Patel, 37, along with their children Vihangi, 11, and Dharmik, 3 —died from exposure to extreme temperatures during a blizzard near Emerson, Manitoba, after becoming separated and being left on foot during a smuggling attempt on Jan. 19, 2022, reported CBC
Details of the arrest: Harshkumar Ramanlal Patel, 28, was arrested in Chicago on Feb. 21 over human smuggling charges based on a warrant issued back in September. Federal authorities allege that Patel orchestrated the smuggling operation and recruited Steve Shand from Deltona, Florida, to drive migrants from the Canadian border to the Chicago area. 
About the suspect: Court documents revealed that Patel entered the U.S. illegally in 2018 after multiple visa rejections. He was allegedly involved in coordinating logistics for illegal trafficking, with cellphone records revealing hundreds of communications between Patel and Shand to facilitate the transportation of Indian nationals into the United States. He reportedly used at least five aliases, including “Dirty Harry.”
Shand, who has pleaded not guilty to human smuggling charges and awaits trial on March 25, claimed Patel paid him $25,000 to make five such trips in December 2021 and January 2022.
Another alleged smuggler, Fenil Patel, is facing charges of culpable homicide and human smuggling in the Indian state of Gujarat for his suspected role in the Patel family’s deaths. He is currently living in the Toronto area. (Note: Harshkumar Ramanlal Patel and Fenil Patel are not related to the Patel family, as it is a common name in Gujarat.)
Death at the border: According to a complaint in Shand’s case, he was driving a 15-passenger van on Jan. 19, 2022, when he was stopped by the U.S. Border Patrol in North Dakota, just south of the Canadian border. Authorities spotted five other people in the snow nearby, all Indian nationals who had been walking for more than 11 hours in frigid blizzard conditions.
One of the men was carrying a backpack containing supplies for a small child, claiming it belonged to a family who had become separated from the group overnight. The bodies of the Patel family were found by Royal Canadian Mounted Police just 33 feet from the border. All victims apparently died from exposure to the extreme cold temperatures.
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