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Canadian man pleads guilty in smuggling attempt at border

A Canadian man pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer during a smuggling attempt, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced Tuesday.

Tonin Ndoja, 50, tried to enter the United States from Canada at the Peace Bridge on Nov. 12 while driving a tractor trailer carrying rolled steel, prosecutors said.

During a secondary inspection, officers discovered two Albanian citizens hidden inside the cab of the tractor trailer under a blanket. The Albanians pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of illegal entry and were sentenced to time served.

Ndoja, a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card holder and member of the trusted traveled program, is scheduled to be sentenced March 30 by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.