Agents from the Houlton Border Patrol Station responded to a call from a concerned citizen about an adult male hitchhiking south of the Canadian border in the Houlton area. When agents encountered the individual, he was walking on a local road.
During questioning by agents, the subject, a Canadian, was determined to be illegally present in the U.S., a violation of USC 1325, Entry Without Inspection, according to a press release from Shelbe Benson-Fuller, a public affairs specialist with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Subsequently, the individual was transported to the Houlton station for further investigation.
After further questioning, agents determined that the individual, a 42-year-old male, was reported as a missing person from Canada on Dec. 9. The subject was processed as a voluntary removal and returned to Canada through the Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada, port of entry, Benson-Fuller said.
The individual’s name was not released by the Border Patrol as he was not charged with any crime.
“This is a great example of the importance the public has in assisting our agents in Maine with border security. As members of the community, they know who and what belongs, and who is out of place,” said Patrol Agent in Charge Dennis Harmon, Houlton Station. “Another great example due to a citizens call was in Aug. 2014, when agents arrested a Rwandan wanted for war crimes, so if someone sees something, please report it.”
“Each incident is done on a case by case basis and individuals who illegally enter the U.S. face up to $5,000 and/or jail,” Benson-Fuller said. “There are many variables and things taken into consideration when dealing with these cases, such as current and previous charges, criminal background and intent.”
Depending on these variables, individuals may be voluntarily removed or could face administrative and/or criminal charges, fines and/or jail, she said. Individuals do not go through a judicial process if the case is administrative.
Over the last year in Maine there have been several cases pertaining to individuals illegally entering the U.S.
Back on Sept 9, 2014, two were administratively charged $5,000 each. The U.S. citizen was released on his own recognizance and the Lebanese national was returned to Canada on an expedited removal.
On July 17, 2014, Pierce Poulin was charged with trying to smuggle his wife into the U.S. His wife Karoline Ramos DE Oliveira was processed for an expedited removal and deported to Canada. The case was prosecuted by U.S. attorneys office.
And on Oct. 29, Bruce Mayberry was charged with illegally entering the U.S. He plead guilty on Nov. 19, and his case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
To report suspicious activity call 1-800-851-8727. For more on CBP’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.