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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

Thursday, August 2, 2018

New Jersey man sentenced for alien smuggling

The United States Attorney’s Office and the Swanton Sector of the United States Border Patrol announce that Jose Moreira de Sousa, 51, a naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in Newark, N.J., was sentenced today in United States District Court in Burlington to one-year of probation following his guilty plea to a charge that he transported two illegal aliens within the United States.  U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss also fined Moreira de Sousa $1000 and ordered him to pay special assessments totaling an additional $5100. 

According to court records, on the morning of October 17, 2017, a concerned citizen notified agents at the Beecher Falls Border Patrol station that a suspicious person driving an Audi with New Jersey license plates was at a cabin literally feet from the U.S. – Canadian border.  Agents learned that the car was driven by Moreira de Sousa and that he had entered the United States from Canada earlier that day. 

Agents surveilled Moreira de Sousa, who appeared to be alone, in the vicinity of the cabin and followed him to a local restaurant, where he bought coffee and muffins for three persons.  He then returned to the cabin.  Shortly thereafter, Moreira de Sousa and two other men emerged from the cabin and got into the defendant’s Audi.  Agents followed the car as it drove away.  When the vehicle pulled to the side of the road, agents approached, determined that Moreira de Sousa was a U.S. citizen and that the two occupants were Portuguese nationals who had walked across the border, with Moreira de Sousa’s assistance, a few hours before.  Neither alien had permission to enter the United States. 

The Swanton Sector Border Patrol is responsible for securing the land border between ports of entry in Vermont as well as New Hampshire and northeastern New York. The assistance of citizens is invaluable in helping the U.S. Border Patrol accomplish their border security mission and they welcome community members to help them keep our nation’s borders safe by reporting suspicious activity at 1-800-689-3362.

For more on CBP’s mission at our nation’s ports of entry with CBP officers and along U.S. borders with Border Patrol agents, please visit the Border Security section of the CBP website.

Moreira De Sousa was represented by Douglas Kallen.  The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

Human Smuggling
Updated August 2, 2018