CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. – The New York State Police arrested a man yesterday, after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Champlain Port of Entry discovered child pornography on his cell phone.
CBP officers encountered 36-year-old Benz K. Benoit, age 36, a Haitian national, on February 28. The subject was in the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency, and returned to Champlain Port of Entry after failing to enter Canada. CBSA officers indicated that Benoit was possibly in possession of child pornography. During a secondary inspection of the subject by CBP officers, digital images of possible child pornography were discovered on his cell phone.
The subject was initially detained by CBP for an immigration violation, and later committed to the Clinton County Jail on an immigration detainer, pending further investigation by the New York State Police.
CBP officers coordinate with local and federal agencies to apprehend perpetrators such as child predators. “We continue to work closely with all law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of the community. These partnerships are essential in combating illegal activity such as the exploitation of children,” said Acting Port Director Cary Frieling. “Our officers are committed to securing the border and are dedicated to identifying criminal activity especially when it involves the victimization of children.”
On March 9, Benoit was charged with one count of Promoting An Obscene Sexual Performance By A Child, a Class D Felony, and one count of Possessing An Obscene Sexual Performance By A Child, a Class E Felony. The subject was arraigned in Champlain Town Court and remanded to the Clinton County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail, or $20,000 bond.
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.