Nishal Sankat to be deported to Trinidad after pleading guilty

Nishad Sankat in court

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) Nishal Sankat, the Trinidad and To­ba­go na­tion­al who has been charged with try­ing to steal a plane at the Mel­bourne Air­port in Flori­da, is com­ing home.

A re­port by Fox 35 News in the Unit­ed States says Sankat is tak­ing a plea deal which al­lows him to leave prison and leave the coun­try.

The Or­lan­do Mel­bourne Air­port was placed on lock­down al­most two weeks ago when Sankat board­ed an Amer­i­can Air­lines plane and tried to at­tempt a take-off.

The re­port says he’s be­ing al­lowed to re­turn to Trinidad and To­ba­go af­ter plead­ing guilty to bur­glary. It’s part of a deal made af­ter the FBI and po­lice de­ter­mined Sankat act­ed alone and suf­fered from de­pres­sion and men­tal health is­sues, Fox 35 News re­port­ed.

“Cer­tain­ly he was in a very del­i­cate state of mind men­tal­ly. He was un­der a lot of stress,” said his at­tor­ney Greg Eisen­menger.

“He had de­cid­ed to do some­thing dra­mat­ic in or­der to il­lus­trate to his fam­i­ly and friends that he need­ed help.”

The re­port states that in ex­change for plead­ing guilty the charges of theft and tres­pass­ing were dropped and Sankat will serve no more time in jail.

When asked if this was enough of a pun­ish­ment, his at­tor­ney told Fox 35 News, “I think that the plea agree­ment was an ap­pro­pri­ate plea agree­ment con­sid­er­ing the cir­cum­stances.”

There are some con­se­quences, how­ev­er, as Sankat is los­ing his pi­lot’s li­cense and visa. He’ll be de­port­ed back to Trinidad and To­ba­go to­mor­row.

His name will al­so be added to the US No Fly list, the re­port states, adding that now that he’s a con­vict­ed felon he’ll nev­er be al­lowed back in the US.

His at­tor­ney says for Sankat, it’s worth it to re­turn home and get the help he needs.

“As you can imag­ine, his par­ents were quite sur­prised and shocked by the whole pro­ceed­ing. His whole fam­i­ly’s been very sup­port­ive of him,” said Eisen­menger.

Mean­while, the Flori­da To­day news­pa­per is re­port­ing that the 22-year-old part-time Flori­da Tech stu­dent, who was study­ing avi­a­tion man­age­ment, must al­so pay US$909 to cov­er the cost of the Mel­bourne Air­port Po­lice De­part­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“The plea was part of an agree­ment reached af­ter an ex­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Mel­bourne Po­lice, Mel­bourne Air­port Po­lice, Joint Ter­ror­ism Task Force, and the FBI found Sankat act­ed alone and was suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion and men­tal health is­sues when he board­ed the Amer­i­can Air­lines jet on Sept. 20, 2018,” the State At­tor­ney’s Of­fice wrote in a news re­lease.

Sankat had no pri­or crim­i­nal his­to­ry.

Sankat was jailed on a sui­cide watch. He had pe­ti­tioned to grad­u­ate from Flori­da Tech in 2019.



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