Smug­glers at work in Derby Line

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS - Derby Line, VT

The Of­fice of the United States At­tor­ney for the Dis­trict of Ver­mont an­nounced last Fri­day that Roberto Rivera-Or­tiz, 27, a res­i­dent of the New York City area, ap­peared last Thurs­day in United States Dis­trict Court in Burling­ton on a charge of alien smug­gling. Mag­is­trate Judge John M. Con­roy or­dered that Rivera-Or­tiz be tem­po­rar­ily de­tained pend­ing another hear­ing on Septem­ber 4.

Ac­cord­ing to court records, on the morn­ing of Septem­ber 2, 2014, Bor­der Pa­trol agents in Derby Line en­coun­tered a male and a fe­male after they had walked across the bor­der through a clump of trees in a res­i­den­tial area. When the two in­di­vid­u­als no­ticed a marked Bor­der Pa­trol cruiser nearby, they be­gan run­ning in a southerly di­rec­tion. Agents ap­pre­hended the male, who proved to be Jose Segura-Perez, a Mex­i­can na­tional with no sta­tus in the United States. The fe­male, also an un­doc­u­mented alien, at that time evaded cap­ture but was fi­nally lo­cated and ar­rested.

At about the same time, another Bor­der Pa­trol agent no­ticed Rivera-Or­tiz stand­ing be­side a ve­hi­cle on a street in Derby Line, near where the aliens had been en­coun­tered. The hood on Rivera-Or­tiz’s ve­hi­cle was up and he was talk­ing on a cell­phone. Im­mi­gra­tion records showed that Rivera-Or­tiz’s car had en­tered Canada at Ni­a­gara Falls last June, and had en­tered the United States at Derby Line ear­lier that morn­ing. When ques­tioned about his na­tion­al­ity and im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus, Rivera-Or­tiz ap­peared ner­vous. Agents es­corted the de­fen­dant to the New­port Bor­der Pa­trol sta­tion, where they soon es­tab­lished that he had trans­ported the two aliens from Mon­treal to just north of the bor­der, let them out to cross the bor­der on foot, en­tered the United States law­fully in his car and was in the process of at­tempt­ing to pick them up to drive them to New York when he was ap­proached by the Bor­der Pa­trol.

The de­fen­dant faces up to ten years of im­pris­on­ment and a fine of up to $250.000. Rivera-Or­tiz is rep­re­sented by As­sis­tant Fed­eral Pub­lic De­fender Stephen Barth. The pros­e­cu­tor is As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Gre­gory Waples.

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