Border Patrol agents in New York received a report about an adult male attempting to swim across the Niagara River near the falls on Tuesday evening. A search with local police resulted in the arrest of two Spanish nationals.
Tuesday evening, Niagara Falls Station agents received a report about a man attempting to swim across the Niagara River near the Whirlpool Bridge in Niagara Falls, New York. Agents responded to the area and found a life vest and swim fins in the area of the reported illegal border crossing, according to information obtained from Buffalo Sector Border Patrol officials.
Officials identified a vehicle suspected of being involved in a human smuggling event and issued a law enforcement broadcast to locate the vehicle. At about 3:20 a.m. on Wednesday, deputies with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle at a local shopping mall. Border Patrol agents responded to the area and found the alleged border river swimmer along with two other people suspected of being involved in the smuggling attempt.
Agents identified the swimmer as a Spanish national who had no legal authority to enter the U.S. Another individual in the vehicle was also identified as a Spanish national. Officials reported the third person to be a U.S. citizen.
“This individual placed himself in extreme danger by swimming across the Niagara River in attempt to illegally enter the U.S. and is lucky to have survived the ordeal. The river is immensely hazardous with rapids, strong currents and low water temperatures”, Patrol Agent in Charge Josh Barrett of the Niagara Falls Border Patrol Station said in a written statement.
The migrant from Spain will likely face federal charges for immigration violations. The other two people in the vehicle could be prosecuted for human smuggling. Officials did not disclose the immigration status of the Spanish passenger in the vehicle.