An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. Local Media Release
  4. Border Patrol Infiltrates Elaborate Human Smuggling Scheme

Border Patrol Infiltrates Elaborate Human Smuggling Scheme

Release Date
Wed, 03/22/2023
For More Information

17 Migrants Removed from a Maine Stash House

LISBON, Maine – Border Patrol Agents working in Lisbon, Maine, identified a location being used to house undocumented non-citizens and removed 17 migrants from the grounds.

The subjects, from Nicaragua and Guatemala, add to a growing trend of undocumented non-citizens transiting in and out of the State of Maine.

On March 21, 2023, agents assigned to the Rangeley Border Patrol Station conducted a follow-up investigation on information provided by the Lisbon Police Department relating to a hit-and-run accident. The investigation led to a house in Lisbon, Maine, where 17 undocumented non-citizens were discovered.

“U.S. Border Patrol will continue to protect our local communities here in Maine and the U.S. as a whole by ensuring those illegally entering the country are apprehended,” said William J. Maddocks, Chief Patrol Agent of the Houlton Sector. “No one is made safer by allowing criminal activity to go unchecked. Immigration law violations are no different, and criminal activity without consequence is not in our community or national interests,” he added.

The agents determined the undocumented non-citizens worked for a Massachusetts-based company. The company rented the house to provide a residence for the migrants. “We are seeing a sharp increase in the flow of illegal labor in and out of Maine,” said Maddocks. “Housing 17 people in one house is unsafe and degrading. The exploitation of the undocumented population will continue as long as there is no consequence. We will do all we can to remove the incentives that drive such exploitation, including the continued issuance of civil penalties, fines, and seeking federal criminal prosecution through the U.S. Attorney’s office for every criminal law violation we encounter.”

The undocumented non-citizens were transported to Rangeley, Maine, for processing. During processing, two of the subjects, from Guatemala, were found to have re-entered the United States after being previously removed. Reentering the United States after removal is a felony crime, punishable by a fine under Title 18 and not more than two years of prison.

Four undocumented non-citizens were found to have entered the United States illegally along the southwest border and were already in removal proceedings. Those subjects were released to await immigration proceedings.

The other subjects - from Nicaragua and Guatemala - were entered into removal proceedings under Title 8.

This incident remains under investigation.

U.S. Border Patrol in Maine relies on the cooperation and assistance of the public. Anyone wishing to make a confidential report of suspicious activity may call (800) 851-8727 to contact a local Border Patrol representative.

Photos related to this release are available upon request.


Last Modified: Aug 03, 2023