U.S. woman charged for transporting 6 people into the country near Quebec border
Six people were seen walking into the U.S. on a remote road in Vermont on Sunday, the complaint states
A North Carolina woman is facing a charge for transporting people into the United States who didn't have permission to be in the country, according to a complaint filed Monday in federal court in Vermont.
The complaint said that just after 2 a.m. Sunday, the U.S. Border Patrol received a report that six people were seen walking into the U.S. on a remote Vermont road in the town of Highgate that dead-ends near the Canadian border.
The official border crossing into Saint-Armand and Philipsburg, Que., is near Highgate.
A short time later, agents spotted what turned out to be a rented SUV later determined to be driven by Carmen Melari Ferrufino Perdomo, 31, of Charlotte, North Carolina, a U.S. citizen originally from Honduras.
It's unclear if she has an attorney.
In the car were six Mexican citizens between the ages of 21 and 54 who told investigators they had crossed into the U.S. that night.
None of the Mexican citizens, who were later arrested as material witnesses in the case, had criminal or immigration records.
The complaint said Ferrufino flew from New York to Burlington on Saturday where she rented the car in which she was apprehended.
Records said she had planned to return the vehicle later Sunday in New York.
Crossers going the other way
In recent months, U.S. border agents have seen multiple smuggling events in the area.
Waves of asylum seekers crossed in the opposite direction – from the U.S. into Canada – last year.
Ninety per cent of illegal border crossings into Canada in 2017 took place in Quebec and most were on Roxham Road near the town of Hemmingford.
In January, the RCMP put out a call for tenders to build a bigger and better insulated temporary building to handle asylum requests in that area.
With files from CBC News