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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

U.S. Attorney’s Office Announces Charges from Border Patrol Arrests in Alleged Alien Smuggling Attempt Near Sherwood, N. D.

BISMARCK – U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota Timothy Q. Purdon announced that four defendants have been arrested and charged by Criminal Complaint with criminal immigration offenses in federal court in North Dakota as a result of arrests made by United States Border Patrol in the course of disrupting an alleged alien smuggling attempt near Sherwood, N.D., on April 6, 2013.

Those charged include:
Darwin Catarero-Sanchez (Bringing Aliens into the United States);
Carlos Rolando Ayala-Bonilla (Illegal Entry);
Ericka Julissa Vasquez-Barerra (Illegal Entry); and
Sahin Iyibas (Illegal Entry)

In Bismarck, United States Attorney Purdon said, “The security of our northern border remains a top priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The arrests and charges in this case are a direct result of the great work done by Border Patrol in North Dakota every day as well as the partnerships Border Patrol has built with local law enforcement and our Canadian law enforcement colleagues.”

“This is a great example how the Border Patrol Strategic Plan is taking shape here on the northern border,” said Austin L. Skero II, Chief Patrol Agent, Grand Forks Sector. “This arrest is a testament to how we receive and analyze information, integrate efforts with state, local and tribal partners and then rapidly respond to known threats. The assistance of our border communities is critical to our success.”

The alleged smuggling attempt was discovered at 1:30 a.m. on April 6, 2013, when a Border Patrol Agent from the Portal, N.D., station made contact with a group of individuals walking south of the Sherwood, N.D., Port of Entry. The subjects were taken into custody on allegations that they were unlawfully present in the United States. Following these arrests, Border Patrol Agents from the Portal, N.D., station also took other individuals into custody who were at a residence in Minot, N.D., on allegations that they too had crossed the border illegally near the Sherwood, N.D., Port of Entry earlier on April 6. In total eleven individuals were detained by Border Patrol as a result of the disruption of the alleged alien smuggling attempt. The investigation into this matter is continuing.

An indictment or a complaint is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

These cases were investigated by United States Border Patrol with assistance from the Office of Field Operations, Sherwood Police Department, Renville County Sheriff’s Office, Bottineau County Sheriff’s Office, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

These cases are being prosecuted in North Dakota federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare Hochhalter.

Updated January 29, 2015