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Press Release

Mexican National Pleads Not Guilty to Attempted Unlawful Transportation of Foreign Nationals in Vermont

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Antonio Alvarez, 45, of New York, NY was arraigned today in United States District Court in Burlington on an indictment charging him with unlawfully attempting to transport individuals that entered the United States illegally.  Alvarez pleaded not guilty at his appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle and remains on release conditions.  

According to public documents in the case, during the evening of November 7, 2022, a United States Border Patrol Agent performing surveillance in the vicinity of Moon Road in Derby Line, Vermont, less than a mile from the Canadian border, observed six individuals, who were subsequently identified as Mexican nationals without identification or paperwork allowing them to reside in the United States legally. Shortly thereafter, another Border Patrol Agent stopped a Toyota Tacoma with New York plates that was driving slowly in a remote area approximately one mile from where Border Patrol encountered the six individuals.  The driver of the Toyota Tacoma was identified as Antonio Alvarez, a Mexican national living in New York, NY who is in immigration removal proceedings.  Alvarez later admitted that he was to be paid $2,000 for picking up and transporting the Mexican nationals. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an indictment is an accusation only and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  As currently charged, Alvarez faces up to 5 years of imprisonment if convicted. Any sentence in the case will be advised by the United States Sentencing Guidelines. 

U.S. Attorney Nikolas Kerest credited the agents of the United States Border Patrol for their investigation and apprehension of Antonio Alvarez and their continued efforts to prevent the exploitation of foreign nationals by human-smuggling organizations. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. Gilman represents the United States in this case. Alvarez is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Steven Barth.

Updated December 7, 2022

Human Smuggling