Swanton, Vt. -Two United States citizens have been indicted on charges of Alien Smuggling, stemming from an incident that occurred on Jan.27. The indictment is the culmination of the hard work of several federal agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Attorney's Offices in Vermont and New York.
"Integrated partnerships are nothing new to the Swanton Border Patrol Sector," said Chief Patrol Agent John Pfeifer. "Border Patrol agents assigned to the Swanton Sector work daily with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in the area. These integrated partnerships have enhanced the Border Patrol's ability to secure America's borders."
On Jan. 27, John Anthony Ruggiero and Gaspare Correnti smuggling attempts were thwarted by U.S. Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers when they attempted to illegally bring Elias Joseph into the United States near West Berkshire, Vt. Joseph, a Canadian citizen, was arrested for Improper Entry by an Alien, and was subsequently convicted of this charge and deported back to Canada. Ruggiero and Correnti, both United States citizens, were arrested for Alien Smuggling.
Homeland Security Investigations continued the investigation with the help of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Attorney's Office. On Sept. 13, Ruggiero and Correnti were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on the charge of Alien Smuggling. They are currently in Federal Court proceedings. A conviction for Alien Smuggling can result in up to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
On June 6, Joseph, who has criminal organization ties, attempted a second entry into the United States near Newport, Vt. Swanton Sector Border Patrol agents encountered and arrested Joseph, charging him with violation of 8 USC 1326, Re-Entry after Deportation. Joseph is currently in federal court proceedings.
This case highlights the excellent working relationship between U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Attorneys' Offices in Vermont and New York. In addition, this effort demonstrates the commitment that all agencies have to not only protect our border but align resources to accomplish a common goal.
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.