MASSENA, N.Y. – Last Thursday, U.S. Border Patrol agents assisting local police following a search successfully identified a subject wanted for murder. Keshawn Sparkman, 20, of Jersey City, N.J., was arrested while in the custody of the Massena Police Department after giving a false name when he arrived in a taxi during a search of a local home.
“This arrest is a great example of our commitment to help make the communities where we live and work a safer place,” said Deputy Patrol Agent in Charge Glen Pickering. “By making our resources and tools available to local agencies, we can help prevent future criminal activity.”
At approximately noon on Thursday, July 20, the Massena Police Department requested the assistance of a United States Border Patrol canine team during a search of a local home after finding drug paraphernalia and more than $5,000 which was seized from two men living in the basement.
During the search, three men arrived in a taxi from Syracuse. The men had no identification and possessed no money to pay the taxi driver. Massena Police Department officers arrested the three men for theft of services. The subjects were taken to the Massena Border Patrol Station to be identified using the station’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
Record checks using their fingerprints revealed one of the subjects, Keshawn Sparkman, was the subject of an active warrant from the Jersey City Municipal Court on July 3, 2017 for the murder of Rashim Foster. Sparkman is being held without bail in the Saint Lawrence County Jail. Sparkman is also charged with false personation, because he gave a false name to officers at the scene, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Canines are an integral asset for all of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and are one of the best tools available to detect people, contraband and prohibited items. CBP uses a variety of canines each trained in a specific discipline to carry out its primary mission. Additionally, CBP canine teams regularly assist local law enforcement when requested to supplement their resources.
Established in 1999, The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) is a national fingerprint identification and criminal system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Border Patrol agents can use IAFIS to provide the identity, immigration and criminal histories of the people it encounters through the course of its normal mission of securing the borders of the United States between ports of entry.
The charges and allegations contained in criminal complaints are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Swanton Sector is responsible for securing the land border between ports of entry in Vermont, New Hampshire and northeastern New York. The coordination with assistance of citizens is invaluable to the Border Patrol's border security mission and we welcome community members' help to keep our nation’s borders safe. Please report suspicious activity at 1-800-689-3362.
For more on Customs and Border Protection’s mission at our nation’s ports of entry with CBP officers and along U.S. borders with Border Patrol agents, please visit the Border Security section of the CBP website.