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Border Patrol and New York State Police thwarts human smuggling attempt in upstate New York

Release Date: 
March 14, 2022
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PLATTSBURGH, New York - U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Champlain Border Patrol Station apprehended seven individuals in connection with a failed smuggling attempt early Sunday morning.

On March 6, Border Patrol agents were alerted by Swanton Sector’s Communication Center of five people suspected of illegally entering the United States near Champlain, New York. The suspects entered a vehicle that sped off at a high rate of speed. Agents were unable to catch up to the vehicle and requested New York State Police assistance. 

Three adults attempting to cross the border illegally. Picture is in black and white due to night vision camera and grainy.
Suspects attempting to cross between ports of entry within
Border Patrol Swanton Sector. 

New York State Police attempted to stop on a vehicle matching the description, at which point the vehicle fled until it went off the roadway and came to a stop near exit 38 on Interstate-87 in Plattsburgh. Five subjects fled on foot; four were quickly apprehended by pursuing Troopers; the fifth subject was apprehended a short time later with assistance from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and a Border Patrol K-9 Team. 

Agents determined four of the passengers were citizens of Guatemala, while the fifth was from Mexico. All five, ranging from ages 24 to 38, had entered the United States illegally and not at a designated port of entry. They were transported to the Border Patrol Station for processing and expelled back to Canada. 

A cleared and safe 9 millimeter pistol on a brown table. Magazine and holster flank the weapon.
The 9mm handgun found in the possession of a passenger. 

The driver and passenger, both citizens of Honduras, were charged with Alien Smuggling in violation of 8 USC 1324. Alien smuggling is a felony, which carries penalties including a fine and up to 5 years in prison per violation. The State Police also charged the driver for fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle 3rd degree. The passenger was charged for criminal possession of a weapon (a loaded 9mm handgun) 4th degree.     

“Yet another great example of law enforcement cooperation,” said Champlain Station’s Patrol Agent in Charge Chris Buskey. “Partnerships and information sharing play a critical role in border security as well as the safety of our communities.”  

The Swanton Sector is responsible for securing the land border between ports of entry in Vermont, New Hampshire, and northeastern New York. Citizens reporting suspicious activity is invaluable to the Border Patrol’s mission, and we welcome community members’ information to help to keep our nation’s borders safe. To report suspicious activity in Swanton Sector, please call 1-800-689-3362.

For more on Customs and Border Protection’s mission at our nation’s ports of entry with CBP officers and along U.S. borders with Border Patrol agents, please visit the Border Security section of the CBP website.

Last modified: 
March 21, 2022