Three individuals have been charged for the fifteen-person human smuggling attempt in Derby, Vermont. The U.S. Border Patrol and the United States Attorney Office for the District of Vermont made the announcement.
Charged were Hector Ramon Perez-Alvarado, 25, a Honduran citizen charged for transporting illegal aliens inside the country. The U.S. Border Patrol also took into custody a total of sixteen other illegal aliens as part of the investigation including Alvarado as the alleged driver.
Eleven of the alleged illegal aliens are Guatemalan citizens and four Mexicans.
Two other persons were also charged for illegally re-entering the U.S. after being previously removed. The authorities have said that Noe Perez-Ramirez, 33, of Mexico and Alberto Alvarado-Castro, 29, both of Mexico have been removed from the U.S. on multiple previous occasions.
The government has filed a motion for detention for the two. The U.S. government further alleged that Alvarado-Castro has previous multiple felony burglary convictions in the country.
U.S. Border Patrol agents noticed on the night of October 7, 2017 a Nissan van, strangely with a license plate not affiliated with any state, making curious multiple trips from Beebee Road near the Canadian border to the Four Seasons Motel in Derby, Vermont . Other agents stationed along the vicinity also saw several male subjects on foot going towards south from the border in the same area raising suspicions of a possible smuggling attempt.
After midnight of October 8, Border Patrol agents pulled the van over in the motel parking lot and questioned the driver Perez-Alvarado and discovered that he had no legal status in the country.
Should Perez-Alvarado be convicted of transporting illegal aliens, he will face a $250,000 fine, possibly for every person smuggled. In the case of Noe Perez-Ramirez and Alberto Alvarado-Castro, should they be convicted of illegal re-entry after removal from the U.S., they each face a maximum sentence of two years and a $250,000 fine.
The three accused all appeared in the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont today for an initial appearance. The three will be detained while awaiting trial and will be in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
The efforts of the Border Patrol agents for a more aggressive campaign to go after illegal aliens and other irregular activities at the border are being acknowledged by the higher-ups and the public.