Smuggler, migrants arrested at Canadian border

Blue Water Bridge
Blue Water Bridge(Sara J. Martin | Michigan Department of Transportation)
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 1:44 PM EDT
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DETROIT, Mich. (WNEM) - A smuggler and four migrants were arrested at the United States-Canadian border after attempting to cross into the United States across the St. Clair River.

Officials said on Aug. 20, Air and Marine Operations agents flying near the Blue Water Bridge saw a jet ski with three people leave Canada and cross the international border. The jet ski landed near Port Huron, where two people got off.

Investigators said the jet ski left and went back to Canada, while the two people walked down the road to a vehicle and got in.

The car was stopped by Marysville Station Border Patrol agents. Officials said the driver was a 39-year-old United States citizen. The two passengers were two men, Brazilian nationals, who both admitted to illegally crossing into the U.S.

The driver and the men were taken to the Marysville station for processing.

Later, agents observed the same jet ski on the same course. Agents saw two people exit the jet ski and begin to walk inland.

When agents took them into custody, they were identified as a 47-year-old and 44-year-old Brazilian man and woman. Both admitted to crossing illegally into the U.S.

Border Patrol said none of the migrants had legal status to be present in the United States.

“I could not be prouder of the men and women of Detroit Sector,” Chief Patrol Agent Robert Danley said. “These criminals made their brazen attempt on a busy weekend without regard, or fear of our law-abiding community. While our strong U.S. and Canadian law enforcement partnerships facilitated a quick resolution, it cannot overshadow the role the community can play in our success. We continue to encourage the community to provide tips on suspicious activity.”

Agents worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to arrest two other people.  The investigation is ongoing.

“This is a testament to how federal and international partnerships are vital in our border security mission,” said Marc Sledge, director of the Great Lakes Air and Marine branch. “Our agents perform an extraordinary job out there...each and every day to protect America.”

The driver of the truck has been charged with unlawful transportation.

The four Brazilian residents have been referred for the prosecution of illegal entry into the U.S.