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Federal jury in Alexandria convicts Ethiopian national who resisted deportation efforts

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ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana — A federal jury in Alexandria has convicted an Ethiopian national of refusing to leave the country twice after being ordered to depart.

Federal prosecutors say in a news release that 30-year-old Henok Dejene Retta was convicted Wednesday of two counts of failure to depart. Retta faces four years in prison on each count. Sentencing is Oct. 13.

Prosecutors say Retta hampered Immigration Enforcement agents' attempt to get him on a flights to Ethiopia on Nov. 19 and Jan. 7 at the Alexandria International Airport.

Court records show Retta verbally and physically resisted agents and threatened to have the plane attacked if he was put on board.

Prosecutors say the incidents prevented him from boarding the flights because of airline and Transportation Security Administration safety policies.

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