Buffalo, N.Y. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations announced the arrest of a Canadian citizen on charges of misuse of a passport and false statements.
On February 3, CBP officers encountered a 23-year-old male as he applied for admission into the United States as a passenger aboard a commercial bus at the Peace Bridge border crossing in Buffalo, N.Y. The subject presented a Japan passport bearing the name Kotaro Nagata as proof of citizenship, and advised the CBP officer that he was destined to New York City. A check of the passport resulted in a record indicating that the presented passport may have been lost or stolen. The subject was referred to CBP secondary enforcement for verification of his immigration status.
During the course of the inspection, CBP officers utilized a unique computer system which employs color and infrared video imaging designed for the verification of legal documents such as passports and visas and is used for the general examination of suspect or questionable documents. CBP officers determined that the document was in fact a legitimate Japanese passport; however the biographical page had been altered with the subject's photograph.
During the course of the interview, the subject stated that he is not the legal bearer of the passport and that his true identity was that of Philip Krassman, a 23-year-old Philippine born Canadian citizen from Edmonton, Alberta. Krassman claims that he purchased the passport in an attempt to illegally gain entry to the United States.
Krassman was arrested by CBP officers and charged with false statements and misuse of a passport. He is being detained pending prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Western District of New York.
This case clearly demonstrates that through training, use of technology and coupled with officer due diligence, we are able to detect fraudulent documents used in the attempt to illegally enter this country," said James Collingwood, acting CBP director of Field Operations for the Buffalo Field Office.