Swanton Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a Colombian migrant in Vermont for allegedly smuggling a group of Mexican migrants across the Canadian border. The Colombian migrant illegally entered the U.S. in Texas just over a year ago and was released by the Biden administration on immigration parole.
“What’s happening along our southern border affects our northern border as well,” Swanton Sector Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia said in a post on X. “Border security is national security.”
A Beecher Falls Border Patrol Station agent patrolling the Canadian border in Vermont observed a Honda Accord driving suspiciously in an area known for human smuggling activity, according to a court document obtained by Breitbart Texas. The agent broadcast a vehicle description on his radio, and another agent observed the same vehicle about 11 miles away.
The agent stated the driver attempted to conceal his face as he drove by. The agent also observed three additional passengers in the back seat and no one in the front passenger seat. The agent conducted a vehicle stop to conduct an immigration interview.
The agent identified the driver as 28-year-old David Henao-Palacio, a Colombian citizen. Henao-Palacio produced a New Jersey driver’s license. As the agent attempted to interview the rear-seat passengers — two men and one woman — the driver instructed them not to speak. The passengers appeared nervous, according to the criminal complaint.
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The agent removed the driver and passengers and sat them alongside the roadway. While checking their status with Swanton Sector dispatch, the three passengers fled into the woods. The agent then placed Henao-Palacio in handcuffs and turned him over to another agent who arrived on the scene.
The agent then tracked the fleeing passengers into the woods. Eventually, all three were taken into custody. With documents in their possession, the agent identified the three as Mexican nationals who illegally crossed the border from Canada into Vermont.
A records check revealed that Henao-Palacio entered the U.S. by illegally crossing the border from Mexico near Hidalgo, Texas, on August 31, 2022, according to the criminal complaint. After processing in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, officials “paroled” Henao-Palacio into the U.S. He reported to an ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office on November 2, 2022, and was ordered to appear before an immigration court on August 23, 2024.
Winter weather is rapidly approaching Swanton Sector. With temperatures already dipping into the 30s, the dangers of unlawful entry into the U.S. along the northern border are increasing—not only for the violators, but for the agents & first responders who rescue them. pic.twitter.com/B2vcEJYEK4
— Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia (@USBPChiefSWB) October 16, 2023
Henao-Palacio reportedly admitted an individual contacted him to pick up the three passengers. He said he would be paid $500 each to bring the Mexican nationals to New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The Colombian national now faces charges of human smuggling. If convicted, he could face up to five years in federal prison and could be removed from the U.S.
The Swanton Sector continues to experience its spike in migrant apprehensions, Breitbart Texas reported. Agents in the sector that covers the Canadian border in eastern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire apprehended more than 1,000 migrants in the first month of FY24.
This is up by nearly 200 percent over October 2022 and is roughly equal to the apprehensions for the entire Fiscal Year 2022.
Bob Price is the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.