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Wisconsin man tries to cross Canadian border concealed in pickup truck

Border officers apprehend 58-year-old man attempting to enter the country illegally

MANITOBA, June 2016 – On Monday, June 13th, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers discovered something unexpected in the back of a pickup truck: an American traveler hiding under a pile of camping supplies in an alleged attempt to cross the border into Manitoba.

As reported by the CBC, CTV, Winnipeg Free Press, and other news outlets, 58-year-old Barry Roger Holmes of Wisconsin was found in the rear of the truck, concealed beneath a tent, a cooler, and a few bags. Holmes was hiding from border agents as the vehicle attempted to enter Canada via the Sprague border crossing in the Rural Municipality of Piney, Manitoba. Sources say that the American stowaway did not resist arrest.

Located along Highway 12 and Provincial Road 308, Sprague is a port of entry in the southeastern corner of Manitoba. Approximately 150 kilometres from the provincial capital of Winnipeg, Sprague is roughly an hour southeast of Steinbach and only minutes away from Minnesota and Ontario.

Criminal charges

The driver of the truck has yet to face any criminal charges but currently remains under investigation. Meanwhile, Holmes has been charged under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Customs Act with willful evasion of compliance and failure to appear for examination by border authorities. Individuals seeking to cross the border into Canada are required by law to report to CBSA officers. Those who fail to do so risk criminal prosecution for violating Canadian immigration law.

Further details have yet to be made public, but CBSA representative Jacqueline Callin has stated that Holmes’ motives for sneaking into the country were not malicious.

Kim Scoville, CBSA’s regional director for the prairies, has also commented on the incident, stressing the security issues overseen by the Canadian immigration agency.

“This case demonstrates the critical role CBSA officers have in protecting our borders by keeping inadmissible people from entering Canada,” said Scoville. “I’m very proud of the work completed at the border by our Sprague officers and also the casework so far by our criminal investigations section that will come to fruition in the court of law.”

The first half of 2016 has been busy for CBSA officers in the prairie provinces. Earlier this year, CBSA released official reports about the border arrests of inadmissible individuals in Alberta and Saskatchewan, including cases involving firearms possession, drug charges, pornography, and sexual assault. CBSA Border Watch encourages citizens to come forward with any information about suspicious border-crossing activities.

If you are planning to enter Canada for travel or immigration purposes and have concerns about crossing the border successfully, you may peruse our website for information about the common reasons for criminal inadmissibility and the usual procedures for overcoming it. For full guidance and advice, however, you should seek the expertise of a specialist in Canadian immigration law. A knowledgeable Canadian immigration lawyer from First Immigration Law Firm is available to speak to you at 1-855-360-4333, toll-free in North America.