Somali native sent to prison, faces deportation

Mohamed Khalif and attorney Amy Husted stand before Judge Matthew Stewart Friday in 35th Circuit Court.

CORUNNA — A Minnesota man who pleaded guilty to stealing credit card information likely faces deportation once he completes his sentence.

Thirty-fifth Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart sentenced Mohamed Khalif, 21, of Minneapolis, to one year, five months to four years in prison Friday for stealing and selling a financial transaction device.

Stewart also ordered him to pay court costs and fines, and $50 restitution to the victim. Khalif was credited with 131 days served.

Khalif is a Somalian citizen who came to the U.S. as a child with his mother in 2006 as part of a United Nations program. Due to the felony convictions, he will likely be deported when he finishes serving his sentence.

“It’s a shame you were allowed to come into our country and enjoy the privileges enjoyed by American citizens,” Stewart told the defendant. “Now, really, you’re a drain on our resources because taxpayers have to pay to house you and feed you and take care of your medical needs because you decided instead of prospering, you engage in crime sprees.

“You have criminal matters pending, really, all over the country… Motor vehicle theft, you’re wanted. Counterfeiting currency, you’re wanted. (Giving) a false name. You’re on probation and now you break into cars and steal people’s property. For what? It’s my hope that the authorities find you and send you back. That’s the best result that anyone could hope for,” the judge said. “Your file will be turned over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.”

After being sentenced, Khalif was being led back to the jail with a group of other inmates. While walking to the elevator, he directed a stream of profanities at a Michigan Department of Corrections agent who had worked on his pre-sentence investigation and recommended a prison sentence.

“F*** you, you fat b****,” Khalif yelled at the agent before a bailiff could lead him out of the courthouse.

Khalif was charged in October 2018 with an additional felony count of illegally selling credit card information, and one misdemeanor count of larceny (less than $200).

He was arraigned Feb. 11 in 66th District Court before Judge Ward Clarkson and pleaded not guilty. He has been held in the Shiawassee County Jail since then. Court records indicate Khalif previously was held in Clinton County while facing similar charges before being transported to Shiawassee County for arraignment.

Khalif pleaded guilty May 6 in return for one count of selling credit card information and the larceny charges being dropped.

Friday, Khalif’s attorney Amy Husted blamed her client’s actions on his mother passing away and Khalif having to provide for himself and his sister.

“Unfortunately, he’s been having difficulty financially surviving,” Husted said. “His friend said he had a line on a job up in Lansing. That’s how he ended up in Michigan. Unfortunately the job didn’t pan out. My client made a very poor choice to steal (this money). He understands it was not the right thing to do.”

Prosecutor Deana Finnegan outlined Khalif’s “unbelievable criminal history.”

“He is a young man, 21 years old,” Finnegan said. “Numerous things as a juvenile. He’s picked up all sorts of warrants in Minnesota. Then he comes to Michigan and just continues the same pattern. Stealing a financial transaction device that’s pending here, back down to Clinton County and did the same exact thing. Then using the things that were stolen here over in Clinton County.

“He came to this country through a U.N. program, and all he’s done is abuse our laws. He never took advantage of everything the U.S. had to offer him. Instead, he really spit in our faces. That offends me. There are thousands of people waiting to come to the U.S. to get a better life and contribute to our society, and because of our immigration laws, aren’t able to do so. This man gets a ride, and he really throws it all in our faces,” she said.

Khalif offered a short apology: “Honestly, I am sorry. Aside from that, I really don’t have anything else to say.”

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