Federal officials stopped the attempted smuggling of two Uzbek nationals who illegally crossed the border from Canada into New York. The effort led to the arrest of a U.S. citizen who officials say was transporting them.
Shortly after midnight on December 30, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers encountered Habib Muhammed, 46, a U.S. citizen, as he crossed the border from Canada at the Mooers Port of Entry in New York, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from CBP officials. During a border crossing inspection, officers found two passports issued by Uzbekistan and a Canadian driver’s license application.
Around the same time, Border Patrol officials received a call from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who said they spotted two people who appeared to illegally cross the border in the same area. Agents responded and located Davlat Ahmedov, 29, and Bahodir Rustamov, 38, both Uzbek nationals, in the woods immediately south of the Canadian border.
Border Patrol agents learned that the identity of the two men matched the passports found by CBP officers in Muhammed’s vehicle at the Port of Entry.
In November 2017, Breitbart News National Security reporter Edwin Mora reported that Uzbekistan is “one of two top countries that has produced most of the jihadists currently fighting and killing U.S. troops and their allies in Afghanistan on behalf of the Islamic State.”
The spotlight on terrorists from Uzbekistan came to light following the truck attack in New York City that left eight people dead. Breitbart News National Security Editor Frances Martel reported that Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov allegedly rented a Home Depot truck and drove through a bicycle lane in Manhattan. After striking several people, Saipov jumped out of the truck, shouting “Allahu akbar” and brandished paintball and a pellet guns. Police shot the Uzbek national and arrested him.
CBP officers arrested Muhammed. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York will prosecute the man for Criminal Alien Smuggling, a violation of 8 U.S.C. 1324, officials stated. Ahmedov and Rustamov will also be prosecuted for illegally entering the United States, a violation of 8 U.S.C. 1325.
“Individuals engaging in human smuggling will be processed under U.S. federal statutes,” Assistant Area Port Director Charles J. Guyette said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “CBP deploys a multi-layered approach to secure the Northern Border and CBP Field Operations’ cooperation with the U.S. Border Patrol and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was essential in the successful arrest of a human smuggler and the apprehension of two illegal aliens further securing our mutual border.”
“This is another example of how seamlessly CBP components work together to accomplish the mission of protecting the border,” U.S. Border Patrol Champlain Station Patrol Agent in Charge Norm Lague added. “I commend the CBP officers and Border Patrol agents who worked quickly and cohesively to thwart this smuggling attempt.”
The successful arrest came about due to cooperation between the two U.S. agencies and Canadian law enforcement.
In October 2016, Border Patrol agents from the nearby Swanton Station stopped the smuggling of a Russian and a Georgian from Canada to the U.S., Breitbart Texas reported. Agents also arrested a Mexican woman being smuggled into the U.S. at the Mooers Port of Entry.
Breitbart Texas reported in July 2016 that Canada and Mexico reached an agreement whereby Mexican citizens can travel to Canada without obtaining a visa. Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies told Breitbart Texas, “Canada will now become even more of a launching point for illegal entry into the United States.”