Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the International Bridge arrested two individuals involved in alien smuggling on Tuesday, June 8.
On June 8, CBP officers encountered P. Richter, a 49-year-old female who is a U.S. legal permanent resident born in Germany. Richter was traveling in a rental car and declared she was returning home to Florida after a brief trip to Montreal, Canada, where she visited friends.
During routine questioning, the primary lane officer determined that something in the driver's story was not right and referred the vehicle in for a secondary enforcement examination. During the course of the secondary inspection, CBP officers discovered W. Richter, a 53-year-old German citizen and husband of the driver, hiding inside a large hockey bag in the rear of the vehicle.
CBP officers extracted W. Richter and secured the scene. It was later discovered that W. Richter was previously refused entry into the U.S. in 1996 due to criminal convictions in Germany. He also had applied for, and was denied, a visitor visa in 2008.
The assistant U.S. attorney in Marquette agreed to prosecute both subjects. P. Richter will be arraigned on felony charges for illegally bringing aliens into the U.S. while W. Richter will be arraigned on charges of eluding inspection at a port of entry.
"CBP officers at the Sault Ste. Marie port of entry continue to perform their mission of protecting the borders with vigilance and professionalism. In this instance, the officers used their training and experience to prevent the illegal entry of an individual who had been refused entry earlier," said Acting Port Director Patrick Wilson.
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.