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Maryland man found guilty of smuggling alien at Fort Covington

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CANTON - A Maryland man faces up to 10 years in federal prison after being found guilty at trial Thursday of smuggling his nephew into the United States at Fort Covington.

Guillermo A. Suarez, 48, Gaithersburg, Md., was found guilty following a two-day trial in U.S. District Court, Albany, of alien smuggling, attempting to transport an illegal alien and inducing an alien to enter the United States illegally, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Mr. Suarez, who prosecutors said is a lawful permanent U.S. resident, was charged Nov. 19 in Fort Covington after he helped his nephew Miguel Balsera-Dorronsoro, an undocumented alien, enter the United States from Canada outside a designated port of entry.

Prosecutors said Mr. Suarez dropped his nephew off on the Canadian side of the border and entered the United States by car through the Fort Covington port of entry. His nephew crossed the border on foot through the woods about 3 miles east of the port of entry.

During an inspection of Mr. Suarez’s car, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers found maps of the border and luggage belonging to Mr. Suarez’s nephew.

According to court documents, Mr. Balsera-Dorronsoro was found by other officers near Burns-Holden Road in Fort Covington.

Mr. Suarez faces up to 10 years in prison on the alien smuggling count and up to five years in prison on the other two counts. Sentencing was set for Jan. 6.

Mr. Balsera-Dorronsoro pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to entering the United States without an inspection and was sentenced to 60 days in jail. Court documents show him listed as a witness against his uncle at trial.

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