Two human smugglers were arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Vermont after they were found to be smuggling a group of illegal immigrants across the Canadian border.
Border Patrol agents from the Newport Station in Vermont discovered a group of immigrants being smuggled from Canada near the border town of Derby on September 17. Miguel Ramos, 32, from the Bronx, New York, and Gerardo Xar-Marroquin, 27, a Guatemalan national who claimed to live in Angier, North Carolina, were arrested on charges of human smuggling following the investigation, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
The Swanton Border Patrol Sector Tactical Communication Center received a tip late Saturday afternoon about possible cross-border illegal activity in Derby. Agents were dispatched and observed a man and two women climb into a grey mini-van with North Carolina license plates. The vehicle was already occupied by two individuals.
The agents made contact with the occupants of the vehicle and questioned each person separately. Ramos produced a New York driver’s license, officials stated, and claimed to be a U.S. citizen. Xar-Marroquin was in possession of a Guatemalan passport but did not have a visa showing legal presence in the U.S. The man and the two women did not have any immigration documents but officials stated they claimed to be from Guatemala.
“These arrests illustrate the quick response of Border Patrol agents to disrupt human smuggling and other nefarious activity along our nation’s northern border,” Acting Deputy Patrol Agent in Charge Erik Lavallee said in the written statement. “There are ways to legally immigrate to the United States and sneaking across the border isn’t one of them. I commend these agents for their quick work in assessing the situation and in teaching this serious lesson to these illegal aliens and their smugglers.”
Agents seized the vehicle and took all five people into custody. The two men originally in the van have been charged with human smuggling. The three illegal immigrants are being processed on immigration violations. If convicted on the human smuggling charges, Ramos and Xar-Marroquin could each face up to five years in a federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Xar-Marroquin also faces deportation for being in the United States illegally. Officials did not disclose where or when he first entered the U.S.