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Press Release

Canadian Resident Arrested for Alien Smuggling

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK – Hector Vinicio Howell-Calvo, age 50, a Canadian resident and Costa Rican citizen, was arrested on November 23 for encouraging and inducing three aliens, all Mexican citizens, to illegally enter the United States. 

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; Steven Bronson, United States Customs and Border Protection Port Director for the Champlain Port of Entry; and Robert N. Garcia, Chief Patrol Agent, United States Border Patrol, Swanton Sector.

According to the criminal complaints, Howell-Calvo attempted to drive to the United States through the Mooers, New York, Port of Entry on the morning of November 23, 2018. 

During inspection at the Port of Entry, Howell-Calvo admitted to Customs and Border Protection Officers that he drove three Mexican citizens to the Canadian side of the border, where they planned to cross the border on foot, and that Howell-Calvo planned to pick up the Mexican citizens on the United States side of the border and to drive them to Newark, New Jersey. 

Border Patrol Agents then found the three aliens walking in Mooers Forks, New York.   Further investigation revealed that each of them paid or planned to pay Howell-Calvo 3,000 Canadian dollars in exchange for helping them illegally enter the United States. 

The charges in the complaints are merely accusations.  The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

The three Mexican citizens are Martin Soriano-Trujillo, Leobardo Uriel Soriano-Trujillo, and Jose Manuel Rodriguez-Garcia.

Leobardo Soriano-Trujillo and Rodriguez-Garcia have been charged with the misdemeanor crime of illegal entry.  Martin Soriano-Trujillo, who was deported from the United States on October 21, 2011, has been charged with illegal re-entry, a felony.

The charge filed against Howell-Calvo carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

This case is being investigated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Border Patrol, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shira Hoffman.

Updated November 26, 2018

Human Smuggling