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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

Monday, April 25, 2016

Syracuse Man Pleads Guilty to High Speed Flight from Border Crossing

Defendant Fled Thousand Islands Area Border Checkpoint

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Jeffrey Kelley, 33, of Syracuse, New York, pled guilty today to fleeing the border inspection checkpoint at the Alexandria Bay Port of Entry in Jefferson County, New York, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian. Kelley also pled guilty to failing to allow his vehicle to be inspected at the border crossing. Sentencing is scheduled for August 25, 2016, in Syracuse New York before Senior United States District Court Judge Norman A. Mordue.

As part of his guilty plea today, Kelley admitted that on December 19, 2015, he approached the Alexandria Bay Port of Entry from the north driving a Jeep 4x4. At the Customs and Immigration inspection point, Kelley refused to lower the rear driver’s side window to allow inspection of the vehicle and did not provide proof of citizenship. Kelley also refused to turn off the engine and turn over his keys. As the Customs and Border Protection Officer turned to retrieve a "stop stick" to place under the car’s tire to prevent departure, Kelley sped away.

Kelley faces a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years for his conviction for Fleeing From An Immigration Checkpoint. He faces a maximum sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 for his conviction for Failing to Allow His Vehicle to be Inspected. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statutes the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors. Kelley will remain in custody until he is sentenced.

This case was investigated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carina H. Schoenberger.

Updated April 26, 2016