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CBP Offices Partner Up to Apprehend Stowaways Using High-Tech Inspection Equipment

Release Date: 
July 7, 2010

Rouses Point, N.Y. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers apprehended two Honduran nationals as they attempted to leave the United States and illegally enter Canada as stowaways aboard an outbound freight train. CBP officers using rail gamma-imaging technology at the Rouses Point Rail Facility discovered the two individuals hiding in an empty rail car.

On July 5, at approximately 3:00 pm, CBP officers were performing an inspection scan of a departing Canadian Pacific Railway train using a Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technology system. The officers discovered anomalies consistent with that of stowaways in one of the freight cars. CBP Field Operations officers, with assistance from CBP Border Patrol, ordered the train to come to a controlled stop and converged on the rail car. The suspects were discovered hiding on the inside of an empty rail car and were immediately taken into custody by CBP officers and agents.

The stowaways were later identified as 20-year-old Erick Rodriguez and 35-year-old Juan Carlos Fuentes, both Honduran nationals lacking the proper documentation to enter or remain in the United States. Record checks performed by CBP Border Patrol revealed that Fuentes was previous arrested and convicted in the United States on charges of second degree rape involving a minor. He was formally deported from the United States in 1999.

Both subjects admitted that they entered the United States illegally on foot in Texas, where they boarded a bus enroute to Plattsburgh, N.Y. They then took a taxi to Rouses Point where they were dropped off near the train track before boarding the empty rail car.

Fuentes was arrested and charged as an aggregated felon with illegal re-entry into the United States with permission. Rodriguez was charged with illegal entry without inspection. Both subjects are being detained in Clinton County N.Y. jail pending prosecution and deportation.

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.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021