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Press Release

Hogansburg Man Arraigned on Human Smuggling Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
United States and Canada Sharing Investigation and Prosecution

PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK – Jacob Wesley Martin, age 26, of Hogansburg, New York, was arraigned last month on human smuggling charges.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations.

Martin was indicted on January 20, 2016, for his alleged role in the attempted for-profit smuggling, into the United States from Canada, of three young men from India on September 2, 2015. The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

An alleged co-conspirator, Louie John McDonald, age 37, of Snye, Quebec, is being prosecuted in Ontario by provincial and federal crown prosecutors, for his alleged role in the smuggling attempt. In the attempt, two of the three Indian men were killed by drowning when a jet ski capsized in the St. Lawrence River.

If convicted of all charges, Martin faces a minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and a post-imprisonment supervised release term of 5 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

Martin was arraigned in Syracuse, New York, before United States Magistrate Judge Therese Wiley Dancks, on March 11, 2016. Five days later, he was released with conditions pending trial, which is scheduled for August 8, 2016 in Albany, before United States District Court Judge Mae A. D’Agostino.

This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations’ Border Enforcement Security Task Force with assistance by the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the United States Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department, and the Utica Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Horsman and Cyrus Rieck.

Updated April 13, 2016

Human Smuggling