An Indiana Township man has 90 days to get out of the country for selling drug paraphernalia and counterfeit sports memorabilia, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
Akhil Mishra, 72, pleaded guilty in June to conspiring to sell drug paraphernalia, two counts of selling drug paraphernalia and one count of trademark counterfeiting.
Since he’s already spent 16 months in jail and federal sentencing guidelines recommended a prison term of 12 to 18 months, U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon sentenced Mishra to time served. Mishra, a citizen of India, agreed to permanently leave the United States as part of his plea agreement.
Bissoon ordered him placed on probation until he leaves the country. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan Conway said he will check in 91 days to see whether Mishra has left and, if not, he’ll seek an arrest warrant.
Mishra, who is still in custody, didn’t speak during his sentencing hearing other than to answer Bissoon’s questions.
Despite at least two prior convictions and the fact that he’s been in the United States for decades on an expired visa, getting Mishra out of the country is proving surprisingly difficult, said George Bills, his attorney.
“He can’t just go to the airport and buy a one-way flight,” he said.
Mishra doesn’t have a passport, and India won’t let him enter its borders without one, he said. While his family has found a birth certificate in India for Mishra, it’s not in English, he said.
Over the years, U.S. immigration officials have repeatedly ordered Mishra to appear at deportation hearings. He’s appeared but hasn’t been deported, Bills said. He said he doesn’t know why.
Since 1989, Mishra and his family have been selling drug paraphernalia in Western Pennsylvania, Conway said at an earlier hearing. Akhil Mishra was convicted in 1992 and 2000 on drug paraphernalia charges. His wife was convicted in 2000 and is currently living with relatives in India.
His son, Mayank Mishra, 35, of Ross, was sentenced earlier this month to 12 years in prison for selling stamp bags and substances used to dilute heroin to a drug ring run by the East Hills Bloods street gang.
The family has closed its three stores, Giggles and Rock-N-More in Downtown and Rock America in Ross. Mishra has also forfeited about $1 million in cash seized during searches of the business and the family’s homes, a Honda Civic LX and the counterfeit memorabilia.
“Everything is closed,” Bills said.
Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer.
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