Two Polish nationals were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, to about five months time served in federal custody and were ordered deported for entering the United States illegally near Massena.
Danuta Koziol and Josef J. Szulc, ages not available, pleaded guilty June 24 to re-entering the country without permission after previously having been ordered deported.
A Hogansburg man, Ian R.E. Tarbell, awaits sentencing Oct. 25 after pleading guilty June 25 to bringing aliens into the United States for commercial advantage and private financial gain.
According to court documents, the count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a minimum term of three years and a possible fine of up to $250,000.
According to criminal complaints filed in the action, U.S. Border Patrol agents observed a white Mitsubishi Galant warranting elevated suspicion because it was making numerous movements around the parking lot of Walmart on Route 37 in Massena with no one getting in or out on Feb. 24. A short time later, a white Cadillac Escalade pulled into the lot and parked next to the Galant, with four people getting out of the Escalade and into the back seat of the Galant.
An agent followed the Galant containing six passengers onto Route 420 before halting it. The driver and a passenger told agents they were in the United States legally, although the driver allegedly admitted the other four passengers were in the country illegally.
Simultaneously, other agents followed the Escalade to a residence in the village, where agents saw the driver, later identified as Mr. Tarbell, go inside, come out and drive away in a Chevrolet Silverado onto North Raquette Road.
The vehicle was halted on ONeill Road, where Mr. Tarbell allegedly admitted he knew he was transporting immigrants illegally from St. Regis village, Quebec, to Massena and was being paid $450.
According to court documents, one of the Polish nationals told agents he had entered the United States from Canada by sled.