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  4. Human Smuggler and Four Migrants Apprehended

Human Smuggler and Four Migrants Apprehended

Release Date
Tue, 08/23/2022

DETROIT— DHS Alliance Human Smuggling and Trafficking Task Force in coordination with the Detroit Sector U.S. Border Patrol, Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Homeland Security Investigations and Federal Bureau of Investigations arrested a United States Citizen smuggling four people across the St. Clair River from Canada into the United States.

Graphic of Border Patrol Agent standing along a river with words Human Trafficker Apprehended
Smuggler and 4 Brazilian nationals arrested near Port Huron

On August 20, Air and Marine Operations agents flying near the Blue Water Bridge observed a jet ski with three individuals leave from Canada and cross the international border. The jet ski landed near Port Huron. Two of the individuals exited the jet ski and began walking down the road, while the jet ski returned to Canada. Border Patrol agents monitoring the situation observed the two subjects enter a vehicle which was subsequently stopped by Marysville Station Border Patrol agents and identified the driver as a 39-year-old United States citizen. The two passengers were identified as two male Brazilian nationals, ages 34 and 35 who both admitted to illegally crossing into the U.S. The driver and two non-citizens were transported to the Marysville station for processing.

A short time later, a Marysville Border Patrol Marine Unit observed a jet ski matching the same description of the jet ski used in the previous apprehension. They contacted the Air and Marine Operations air unit, who confirmed that it was the same jet ski and that it was on the same course as the previous smuggling load. AMO agents observed two individuals exit the jet ski and begin to walk inland. Border Patrol agents made contact with the pair and identified them as Brazilian nationals as well. The duo also admitted to illegally crossing the international border into the U.S. The subjects, a 47-year-old male and a 44-year-old female, were also transported to the Marysville Station for processing.

During processing it was confirmed that all non-citizen subjects were Brazilian nationals, and that none have legal status to be present in the United States.

“I could not be prouder of the men and women of Detroit Sector,” said Chief Patrol Agent Robert Danley. “These criminals made their brazen attempt on a busy weekend without regard, or fear of our law-abiding community. While our strong U.S. and Canadian law enforcement partnerships facilitated a quick resolution, it cannot overshadow the role the community can play in our success. We continue to encourage the community to provide tips on suspicious activity.”

Coordination with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police resulted in the arrest of two additional persons.  Their investigation is ongoing.

“This is a testament to how federal and international partnerships are vital in our border security mission,” said Marc Sledge, Director Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch. “Our agents perform an extraordinary job out there...each and every day to protect America.”

The driver of the pickup vehicle has been charged by complaint with a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) (unlawful transportation) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  The four Brazilian subjects have also been referred for prosecution of 8 USC 1325 - Illegal Entry into the U.S.

Anyone with information on suspicious activity is asked to call the Detroit Sector Border Patrol BorderWatch telephone number toll-free at 800-537-3220.

Last Modified: Aug 23, 2022