Mezemr Abebe Belayneh from Dilla, Ethiopia to Snellville, Georgia

Mezemr Abebe Belayneh (©New Mexico State Police)
Mezemr Abebe Belayneh (©New Mexico State Police)

Mezemr Abebe Belayneh, 65, of Snellville, Georgia, United States is Ethiopian. He participated in the Red Terror, the Derg’s violent political repression campaign against other Marxist-Leninist groups in Ethiopia and Eritrea from 1976 to 1977, by serving as a civilian interrogator at a makeshift prison in Dilla, Ethiopia.

During this period, Abebe was one of the people who physically abused and interrogated prisoners because of their political beliefs. Because of this, he was not entitled to U.S. citizenship.

However, Abebe became a U.S. citizen after lying during his immigration and naturalization process. He falsely claimed that he neither had persecuted anyone because of their political opinions nor had committed a crime for which he had not been arrested.

In May 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Abebe and charged him with two counts of unlawful procurement of naturalization. On June 17, 2021, he was arrested and arraigned on the charges.


This is not the first time Abebe was arrested. On July 31, 2020, the New Mexico State Police arrested him and Binyam Habtamu Getahun, 36, of Alexandria, Virginia, USA after conducting a safety cab inspection on a 2014 Freightliner commercial motor vehicle (CMV) at the Gallup Port of Entry west of Gallup, New Mexico, USA.

Concealed inside 20 Home Depot boxes, 495 vacuumed sealed packages of marijuana, which weighed weighed 580 lbs., were found in the trailer of the CMV. Habtamu, the driver of the vehicle, and Abebe, the co-driver, were charged with possession of marijuana, a fourth-degree felony, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, a third-degree felony, KWRG reported.

Abebe is the principal of Green Star Trucking Ltd Co., a trucking and logistics company based in Snellville. Aside from Snellville, he has lived in other parts of Georgia, including Atlanta.

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