Columbian-Amer­i­can lady too help­ful

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE ONE -

A37 year old Amer­i­can-Colom­bian woman was rather em­bar­rassed last week, when she was asked a few ques­tions by cus­tom of­fi­cers. A pri­mary search of her car got the of­fi­cers sus­pi­cious about her be­ing here. They ac­tu­ally found sev­eral things: suit­cases, cloth­ing and a child car seat that could not very well be­long to just one per­son. Fur­ther ques­tion­ing led the of­fi­cers to a Stanstead ser­vice sta­tion where she had dropped off a Colom­bian fam­ily: hus­band, wife and a three year old baby. These peo­ple knew the ‘score’; they im­me­di­ately ap­plied for a refugee sta­tus, which is au­to­mat­i­cally but tem­po­rar­ily granted un­til their ap­pli­ca­tion is stud­ied in Ot­tawa. The Colom­bian fam­ily was then taken care of while the woman who had brought them across was sent to Tal­bot jail.

Rep­re­sented by legal aid lawyer Philippe Gil­bert, San­dra Milena Londono Ri­con, who lives in Buf­falo, New York, pleaded guilty to the charge of hav­ing helped fel­low Colom­bians get across the bor­der with­out fol­low­ing the legal rules. Judge Hélène Fabi took un­der con­sid­er­a­tion the fact that she had been in cus­tody for three days and sen­tenced her to 27 days in jail. This sug­ges­tion came from lawyer Gil­bert.

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