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Courts

A Canadian resident has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to harboring an illegal alien, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said 42-year-old Jason O. Garcia of Vaughan, Ont., faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on March 20. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan A. Tokash, Garcia attempted to enter the Unite…

Courts

A North Carolina man with a prior felony conviction for controlled substance distribution was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday. Prosecutors said 29-year-old Justin Campbell Saunders, of Raleigh, entered the United States from Canada at the Peace Bridge, without stopping his truck for a customs in…

Courts

A Hamburg couple that allegedly attempted to enter the United States with marijuana made an appearance in federal court on charges that could send them each to prison for a maximum of two years, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said Narriana Gray and Briana Gray, both 19, were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with entry of goods by means of…

Buffalo

A Nebraska man who mistakenly drove into Canada was arrested on felony gun charges on his way back, the New York State Police announced Monday. Skyler R. Kruse, 33, of Omaha, declared to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers that he had a loaded semi-automatic pistol upon returning to the United States at the Peace Bridge Plaza Friday, troopers said. Officials said th…

Crime

Three Massachusetts women who allegedly attempted to smuggle marijuana into the United States at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge were arrested Monday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said Briha K. Younger, 25, 28-year-old Jenae R. Johnson – both of Boston, Mass. – and Micaela G. Ratcliffe, 28, of Dorchest…

Crime

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge Thursday said they have seized more than 27 pounds of marijuana in four separate commercial shipments over the past two days. On Wednesday, customs officers at the Peace Bridge selected three commercial shipments for inspection and discovered about seven pounds of marijuana within each package, totaling jus…

Crime

A Georgia man with two outstanding warrants from the Buffalo Police was arrested at the Peace Bridge allegedly with a loaded pistol in his luggage, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The 24-year-old man, whose name was not released by U.S. Customs, is a resident of Snellville. On June 24, Border Protection officers, using non-intrusive inspection techno…

Crime

Federal border patrol agents discovered four large red duffel bags containing marijuana following a search Tuesday at Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Buffalo Station agents had observed a helicopter hovering at a very low altitude at about 8:20 p.m. over a parking lot at the state park, which prompted the se…

Crime

A Buffalo man convicted of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute was sentenced Friday to serve 41 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Jibreel Williams was 27 when U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered him on Dec. 11, 2016. Williams was a passenger in a vehicle attempting to re-ent…

Crime

A Brazilian national residing in Toronto has been charged with attempting to smuggle people into the United States for financial gain or commercial advantage, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. If convicted, Wanderson Dos Santos Freitas faces a mandatory minimum of three years in prison and a maximum of 10 years, prosecutors said. Dos Santos Feitas was among th…

Courts

A Canadian resident accused of assaulting a U.S. customs officer Monday is being held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection pending a detention hearing set for next Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Feng Chen, 23, of Ontario, was charged with assaulting a federal officer by means of a dangerous weapon and evading a checkpoint operated by a federal law en…

Crime

A Canadian woman arrested on charges of assaulting a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent made an appearance Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer. Tianna N. McPherson, 40, of Kitchener, was being held by U.S. authorities, pending a detention hearing, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said McPherson was dropped off Sept. 2 at th…

Crime

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge Wednesday seized about 78 pounds of marijuana in five separate shipments, all destined for the same location. Aaron Bowker, a public affairs liaison with U.S. Customs, said the marijuana had a street value of about $78,000. "It was actually in a commercial shipment. So it was being sent from a point A to…

Business

Acquest Development of Buffalo has sold a Grand Island property that houses the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters to a Chicago real estate management company for $11.4 million in one of the largest real estate deals on Grand Island. The Customs and Border Protection and Office of Homeland Security lease the building there. The sale of 201 Lang Blvd. to …

A man from Puerto Rico who attempted to smuggle drugs into the U.S. from Canada at the Peace Bridge pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Joel Torres Diaz, 30, faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years behind bars. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul C. P…