HOGANSBURG, N.Y. — U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents assigned to the Massena, N.Y. Station arrested an illegal alien from India on Tuesday following a tip from an Akwesasne resident to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police (SRMTP).
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York will criminally prosecute Gurtej Singh, 19, under 8 USC 1325, Improper Entry by Alien. Singh faces up to six months in prison, a $5,000 fine and removal from the United States.
“This is a great example of our integration with our state, local and tribal law enforcement partners,” said USBP Patrol Agent in Charge Wade A. Laughman. “The quick response of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police kept this illegal alien from successfully entering the United States without proper immigration inspection.”
The concerned community member called the SRMTP to report a suspicious man walking near the Bingo Palace along New York State Route 37 near the international border. An SRMTP officer responded and encountered the man, who he suspected of being neither a U.S. nor Canadian citizen or lawful resident. The SRMTP officer transported him to the SRMTP station and notified the U.S. Border Patrol.
“We can’t be everywhere and need the Akwesasne community’s help to keep our people safe,” noted 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.”
U.S. Border Patrol agents interviewed Singh, who was unable to produce any immigration documents that would allow him to enter or be present in the United States. The agents arrested Singh and transported him to the Massena Border Patrol Station. Record checks revealed that Singh has no immigration or criminal history in 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, Vt. Border Patrol Sector thanks and appreciates the concerned local resident for reporting this incident,” said Chief Patrol Agent John Pfeifer. “Your assistance is invaluable to our border security mission. We welcome other community members to help us keep our nation’s borders safe.”
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.