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Press Release

Defendant Pleads Guilty To Smuggling And Transporting Illegal Aliens, And Failure To Appear In Federal Court

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

[Plattsburgh, New York]—United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge James Spero announce that NATHAN SAMSON MARTIN, age 31, Akwesasne, New York, pled guilty on June 4, 2013 to conspiring to bring and bringing illegal aliens into the United States and transporting them within the United States, and failure to appear at federal court proceedings after his pretrial release. United States District Court Judge Glenn T. Suddaby, Syracuse, New York, accepted his guilty pleas.

MARTIN was one of three people indicted in April 2010 for conspiring to smuggle aliens from Canada into the United States for commercial gain in 2009 and 2010. He is the second defendant of the three defendants charged to plead guilty to his role in the conspiracy. Another defendant, Carl THOMPSON, previously pled guilty and was sentenced to three years of imprisonment. A third defendant, Dennis JOCKO of Cornwall Island, Ontario, remains a fugitive after absconding from pre-trial supervision upon release by United States Magistrate Judge Kudrle.

Public court documents show that on February 8, 2010, Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service officers in Canada alerted Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents to a vehicle that crossed the “ice bridge” from Cornwall Island, Ontario, to St. Regis Village, Quebec, and proceeded into Franklin County, New York. After law enforcement officers in New York observed the vehicle drop off a person in Hogansburg, they attempted to stop the vehicle for an immigration inspection. The driver, later identified as MARTIN, attempted to flee but was apprehended. The person that MARTIN dropped off was an illegal alien who had just been commercially smuggled into the United States from Canada through the Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation. MARTIN received part of the smuggling fee, according to the smuggled alien. A U.S. Magistrate Judge released MARTIN on February 9, 2010, subject to supervision by the U.S. Probation Office. However, MARTIN failed to appear for a hearing as ordered by U.S. District Judge Suddaby on January 4, 2011, and an arrest warrant was issued. On January 7, 2013, the defendant was found and arrested in the United States on the federal warrant by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police.

MARTIN pled guilty to all charges without a plea agreement. He faces a statutory maximum of ten years and a minimum of three years of imprisonment on the charge of bringing, or aiding and abetting the bringing, of illegal aliens to the United States. The charge of failure to appear has a statutory maximum of five years of imprisonment, as do the other two counts of conspiracy and transporting aliens, but federal law requires that the court run any sentence for failure to appear consecutive to any other sentence. The Court set the case for sentencing on October 10, 2013 and ordered MARTIN to remain in jail pending sentencing.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Massena, New York, with assistance from the United States Border Patrol, Saint Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department, Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Canadian Border Services Agency, and Surete Du Quebec. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.

Any questions may be directed to Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney John G. Duncan in Syracuse, New York at (315) 448-0672 or Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Horsman in Plattsburgh, New York at 518-314-7800.

Updated January 29, 2015