CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from the Champlain Port of Entry and U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Champlain Station successfully intercepted a human smuggling operation resulting in the arrest of one subject for criminal alien smuggling and two subjects for illegal entry into the U.S. on December 30.
Just after midnight, CBP officers encountered Habib Muhammed, age 46, a U.S. citizen traveling from Canada to the United States. CBP officers became suspicious of the subject during primary inspection, and the subject was referred to secondary inspection for closer examination.
CBP officers searched the subject’s vehicle, finding copies of a Uzbek passport and an Ontario driver’s license application issued in the names of two separate Uzbek nationals.
Around the same time, U.S. Border Patrol agents received a call from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police advising the sighting of two subjects in the vicinity of Blackman Corners Road, about a mile west of Mooers Port of Entry. Agents responded and located two subjects, Davlat Ahmedov, age 29, and Bahodir Rustamov, age 38, in the woods south of Blackman Corners Road.
During the course of the investigation and through communication with CBP officers at the Mooers Port of Entry, agents determined the individuals matched the identities on the copies of the Uzbek passport and Ontario driver’s license application found in Muhammed’s vehicle at the port of entry.
“Individuals engaging in human smuggling will be processed under U.S. federal statutes,” said Assistant Area Port Director Charles J. Guyette. “CBP deploys a multi-layered approach to secure the Northern Border and CBP Field Operations’ cooperation with the U.S. Border Patrol and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was essential in the successful arrest of a human smuggler and the apprehension of two illegal aliens further securing our mutual border.”
“This is another example of how seamlessly CBP components work together to accomplish the mission of protecting the border,” said Champlain Station Patrol Agent in Charge Norm Lague. “I commend the CBP officers and Border Patrol agents who worked quickly and cohesively to thwart this smuggling attempt.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York is prosecuting Muhammed for Criminal Alien smuggling under 8 USC 1324 as well as prosecuting Ahmedov and Rustamov for illegally entering the United States under 8 USC 1325.
Criminal charges are merely allegations, with all subjects presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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.