By Guy Page
The recent arraignment of an alleged illegal alien smuggler may reveal details of the “who” and the “how” of this fall’s startling uptick in illegal alien crossings at Vermont’s Canadian border.
As reported in Monday’s Vermont Daily Chronicle, the U.S. Border Patrol reports that in October, apprehensions of illegal entries rose 676% in October: 334 apprehensions from 19 different countries.
U.S. Attorney records show that Antonio Alvarez, 45, of New York, NY was arraigned December 7 in United States District Court in Burlington on an indictment charging him with unlawfully attempting to transport individuals that entered the United States illegally. Alvarez pleaded not guilty at his appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle and remains on release conditions.
According to public documents in the case, during the evening of November 7, a United States Border Patrol agent performing surveillance in the vicinity of Moon Road in Derby Line, less than a mile from the Canadian border, identified six Mexican nationals without identification or paperwork allowing them to reside in the United States legally.
Shortly thereafter, another Border Patrol agent stopped a Toyota Tacoma with New York plates that was driving slowly in a remote area about a mile away. The driver of the Toyota Tacoma was identified as Antonio Alvarez, a Mexican national living in New York, NY who is in immigration removal proceedings. Alvarez later admitted that he was to be paid $2,000 for picking up and transporting the Mexican nationals.
As currently charged, Alvarez faces up to 5 years of imprisonment if convicted.