Attempt at smuggling illegal immigrants caught at northern border

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Another attempt at smuggling illegal immigrants into the U.S. from Mexico was thwarted at Vermont’s northern border on Wednesday with help from local tipsters.

Francisco Alejo-Medrano, 27, appeared May 2 at the United States District Court in Burlington and was charged with attempting to unlawfully transport six aliens into the country. U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss ordered that Alejo-Medrano, a Mexican citizen, must be detained until further court proceedings.

The criminal complaint indicates that Border Patrol agents at the Newport border station learned Wednesday evening that a group was entering the United States from Canada by foot, near an area known as Goodall Farm in Derby Line.

U.S. Department of Justice

A U.S. Border Patrol agent conducting a canine search during checkpoint operations.

According to a Department of Justice press release, agents dispatched to the area observed six individuals huddled together in a wooded area near a road near the border.

“Shortly thereafter, agents saw an SUV drive up to the group. The vehicle stopped and the six individuals got in. A short time later, agents stopped the vehicle. Alejo-Medrano was the driver,” DOJ states.

The six passengers were all undocumented Mexicans and were charged with unlawfully entering the country.

If convicted, Alejo-Medrano faces up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine, although the final sentence would be determined according to federal guidelines.

All charges at this stage are only accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

According to the release, tips from local Vermonters are vital to keeping the border secure.

“The assistance of citizens is invaluable in helping the U.S. Border Patrol accomplish their border security mission and they welcome community members to help them keep our nation’s borders safe by reporting suspicious activity at 1-800-689-3362,” the DOJ statement says.

Kraig Laporte, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, told True North these illegal crossings have become a regular occurrence.

“There have been a number of these cases over the last year,” he said.

He added that the new visa-waiver program in Canada allows Mexicans to easily travel by plane into Canada without a visa, which makes entering the United States from the north an attractive pathway for illegals.

“If you fly from Mexico to Canada, they don’t need a visa,” he said. “So they can get into Canada from Mexico quite easily and they try to enter illegally on the northern border.”

He added: “It’s been over a year, [and] we’ve seen since that visa waiver implementation that there’s been an increase of border crossings.”

U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont Christina Nolan stated last year that plane tickets from Mexico to Canada can be $350 or less.

Stopping crossings at the northern border is a challenge due to its vast rural landscape. There are over 300 miles of Canadian/U.S. border across Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire.

U.S. Border Patrol agent Richard Ross told the Associated Press last year that smugglers are very sophisticated when it comes to taking advantage of the terrain.

“They have scouted the area, they have scouted us,” he is quoted as saying.

Laporte said that groups seeking to enter illegally often pick a meeting spot and wait for someone inside the U.S. to arrive in a vehicle to pick them up.

“We’ve had a number of cases like that,” he said.

He was also asked what kind of sentencing the six illegals might face. He said the six immigrants attempting to enter illegally also face charges.

On May 17, 2018, Salmen Hernandez-Ayala, 48, was apprehended by border agents in Derby after picking up and attempting to transport three Mexican illegal immigrants to New York City.

In October 2017, a man from Newark, New Jersey, was caught smuggling two illegals across the northern U.S. border at Beecher Falls.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Bill Morrow and U.S. Department of Justice

6 thoughts on “Attempt at smuggling illegal immigrants caught at northern border

  1. This is a serious problem. I own forested property that is contiguous to the border. Some years ago Border Patrol told me that I should never be on the property unless I was armed. They told me to be very careful with who I encounter. Drugs and migration have occurred on the next property over from mine recently and on mine multiple times some years ago.
    Oh, did I mention I always have followed their advice.

    • And when we’re done building the southern border wall, we must build a northern border wall too.

      Two walls are better than one, but one wall is better than none!

      And don’t you forget – even walls, fences and gates have doors 4 (legal) entry.

  2. The Northern Border, out of sight out of mind except for the traffickers, when they see an
    opportunity……………. they take it !!

    Vermont, New York, New Hampshire better wake up……soon, Oh wait VT & NY are a sanctuary
    State………… Thanks, Liberals !!

  3. The root of the problem is Canada in our neck of the woods. The liberal gov of Canada and very liberal PM Justin Trudeau allows illegals in Canada with open arms. Perhaps the country is getting overloaded and sends illegals south. He’s worse than Mexico. Another numb nut job.

    Wonder if he (JT) would fight a fence? There’s many miles of border, NY to ME. In VT, the cost of a fence will be expensive. But VT is a sanctuary state, more taxes to support.

    • I would agree this is all Justina’s doing, as Canadian immigration laws
      are actually tougher then the US’s. They require you to prove your worth
      to Canada and proof you paid all your debts before letting you in. Then
      your interned for a while checks are made on what/who you were and if
      you in good health.
      This is a special deal made for South Americans agitate Pres Trump, who don’t
      get agitated he gets even..
      The Canooks are getting sick of Justina but unlike here with electoral collage
      it’s hard to get rid of him with 3-4 population centers determining the majority.

  4. This is only the tip of the iceberg. You are going to see much more of this coming out of Canada, especially as the southern borders become harder to cross.
    We need walls on all our borders. Enough is enough. I’m tired of my taxes paying for their free benefits.

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