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Press Release

Two Convicted After Trial for Illegal Entry from Canada

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Illegal Aliens Crossed the St. Lawrence River on Homemade Raft

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Rostislav Skalka, 48, of the Czech Republic and Robert Bella, 45, of Slovakia were each convicted of one count of illegal entry into the United States following a one-day, non-jury trial in federal court yesterday.  The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and John C. Pfeifer, Chief Patrol Agent, Swanton Sector, United States Border Patrol.


At trial, the evidence established that Skalka and Bella entered the United States from Canada near Waddington, New York, by crossing the St. Lawrence River in a makeshift raft and without immigration inspection at a valid port of entry. Following the verdict, United States Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles sentenced the defendants to time served (three months) in connection with their convictions for these misdemeanor offences. Skalka and Bella are expected to face deportation following further proceedings. 


The case was investigated by the United States Border Patrol and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sahar L. Amandolare.

Updated December 14, 2016