Akwesasne Resident’s Tip Leads to Arrest of 4 Illegal Aliens, 2 are Convicted Felons
HOGANSBURG, N.Y.— On Jan. 25, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Massena Station responded to a request for assistance from the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police (SRMTP), which was initiated by a phone call from an Akwesasne resident that resulted in the arrest of four illegal aliens. Two of the illegal aliens are citizens of Chile, both have extensive criminal records and also have been previously removed from the United States. The other two aliens are citizens of the People’s Republic of China. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of New York is bringing criminal charges against the four.
“This is a great example of our integration with state, local and tribal law enforcement partners,” said Patrol Agent in Charge Wade A. Laughman. “The quick response of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police kept two felons and two other illegal aliens from successfully entering the United States.”
At approximately 11:00 am on Jan. 25, a concerned community member called the SRMTP to report that four people were walking near the border in the community of Akwesasne. SRMTP officers responded to the area and encountered four people they believed were neither citizens of the United States nor Canada. The SRMTP placed the four in custody and transported them to their station.
“We can’t be everywhere and need the Akwesasne community’s help to keep our people safe,” said Tribal Chief of Police Matthew Rourke. “Being vigilant and asking community members to call tribal police or Border Patrol when they notice suspicious activity continues to be an important part of our law enforcement capabilities.”
At the SRMTP station, Border Patrol agents determined that two of the people were citizens of Chile and two were citizens of China. Agents also determined that all four had crossed the border between the United States and Canada at a place other than a port of entry, thus avoiding inspection by an immigration officer. Border Patrol agents arrested the four and drove them to the Massena Border Patrol station for further investigation.
Record checks revealed that the two illegal aliens from Chile had both been previously removed from the United States. The checks also revealed that both possessed extensive criminal records.
Victor Manuel Fuentes-Gomez, 67, has been removed twice to Chile. Record checks also revealed that between 1975 and 2014 Fuentes-Gomez has been arrested or convicted in six states (Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Arkansas and Texas). He has felony convictions in Virginia for grand larceny and in New York for possession of stolen property.
Gloria Oliva-Gallardo, 60, has been removed to Chile four times. Upon her first return to the United States she was convicted of 8 USC 1326, Reentry of Removed Aliens, a felony. She also has three additional felony convictions, all for burglary or theft. Additionally, the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department holds an active warrant for her extradition to California.
The other two illegal aliens, both men ages 52 and 33, were determined to be citizens of the People’s Republic of China. Record checks revealed no prior immigration or criminal history in the United States.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Northern New York will prosecute all four individuals. Fuentes-Gomez and Oliva-Gallardo are being charged under 8 USC 1326, Reentry of Removed Aliens. They face up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and removal from the United States. The two illegal aliens from China are being charged under 8 USC 1325, Improper Entry by Alien. They face up to six months in prison, a $5,000 fine and removal from the United States.
The charges and allegations contained in criminal complaints are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Swanton Sector thanks and appreciates the concerned local resident for reporting this incident. Your assistance is invaluable to our border security mission and we welcome other community members to help us keep our nation’s borders safe and report suspicious activity in the border area to the U.S. Border Patrol at 1-800-689-3362.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.