US Border Patrol arrests seven who crossed into Maine illegally

5 years ago

BRIDGEWATER, Maine — The United States Border Patrol has arrested seven people, all of whom are confirmed to be from Mexico, for allegedly crossing illegally into Maine from Canada this week. 

Maine State Police pulled over a vehicle transporting eight people on Tuesday, July 23, in Bridgwater, about 22 miles from the Houlton Port of Entry, suspecting the driver could be under the influence of alcohol. The vehicle was seen “crossing the center line on four separate occasions,” according to a Border Patrol affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Bangor on July 24. 

Border Patrol agents arrived at about 10 p.m. after receiving a call from State Police for help with language translation.

Four people were charged with a criminal misdemeanor for entering the country illegally, according to the Border Patrol documents about the arrests. Three others were found to have tried entering the country illegally once before, and were arrested on charges of illegal re-entry after deportation, a felony under U.S. law. 

Entering the United States illegally is a misdemeanor charge that can be punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both. Illegal re-entry is a Class E felony, according to Border Patrol, and is punishable by less than two years imprisonment and a fine up to but not more than $250,000. 

Mark Phillips, public affairs liaison for U.S. Border Patrol at the Houlton sector, said agents have observed a “three-fold increase” in apprehensions of Mexican nationals compared to last year. He said the increase includes both apprehensions and various types of entry. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.