Human TraffickingMigrationNews

Effective Law Enforcement Partnership Leads to the Arrest of a Convicted Human Smuggler along with 21 other Non-citizens in Rangeley, Maine

On April 14, 2022, in two separate events, U.S. Border Patrol agents stationed in Rangeley, Maine, arrested 22 subjects: fifteen (15) individuals in Wilton, Maine, and seven (7) others in Rangeley, Maine. 

The first interaction occurred at approximately 6:00 a.m. when Border Patrol agents assisted a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy during a vehicle stop near the town of Wilton. The vehicle was dangerously overloaded and speeding. During the inspection, deputies discovered fifteen (15) Mexican Nationals and two (2) United States Citizens riding in the vehicle. Further investigation revealed that all the Mexican Nationals were in the United States illegally and were arrested for various charges by Rangeley Station agents.

One of the Mexican Nationals, a 31-year-old male, was discovered to have a 2009 conviction for Human Smuggling and has also been convicted for illegally re-entering the U.S. after removal. It is a felony offense for a person previously removed by the U.S. to illegally re-enter the United States. That subject was referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. The other fourteen (14) Mexican Nationals were entered into removal proceedings. Charges were not pursued against the two U.S. Citizens who were later released.

The second event occurred hours later when Rangeley agents encountered seven (7) Ecuadorian Nationals in Rangeley, Maine. The subjects were found to be illegally present in the United States, and all were processed and entered into removal proceedings.

“Whenever we take a criminal off the streets, it is a success. The aforementioned 31-year-old Mexican National was not only convicted of human smuggling but has also been removed from the United States twice previously. This incident is a great example of how our effective partnerships with state, county, and local law-enforcement agencies help keep our communities safe.” said John Krause, Patrol Agent in Charge of the Rangeley Border Patrol Station.  

“Border Patrol Agents throughout Houlton Sector work hand-in-hand with partner agencies to enforce the laws enacted by congress, serve the communities of Maine and protect our vital national interests,” said Houlton Sector Chief Patrol Agent William Maddocks. “When foreign nationals enter the U.S. illegally, we never know who has a prior criminal history or other derogatory backgrounds until they are encountered by law enforcement. Unfortunately, we have seen a notable increase of foreign nationals with criminal history transiting through and working in the Rangeley Station’s area,” he added.

Rangeley Station is one of six Border Patrol Stations located in Maine, all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the Houlton Sector Headquarters. Other stations in Maine include Jackman, Van Buren, Fort Fairfield, Houlton, and Calais.