North Carolina Woman Charged With Alien Smuggling
The United States Attorney’s Office and the Swanton Sector of the United States Border Patrol announce that Carmen Melari Ferrufino Perdomo, 28, a naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in North Carolina, appeared today in United States District Court in Burlington on a charge that she transported six illegal aliens within the United States. U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss released the defendant on conditions pending her next court hearing in early April.
According to the criminal complaint that was filed today, on the early morning of March 18, 2018, Border Patrol officers noticed six people walking into the United States from Canada on Rainville Road, in Highgate, Vermont. Shortly after a white SUV was observed travelling towards the border along Rainville Road, Border Patrol officers saw a white Ford SUV travelling south, away from the border, along Rainville Road. Border Patrol stopped the white SUV, which was driven by the defendant. Border Patrol identified six undocumented persons from Mexico in the car as well. The defendant had flown to Burlington, Vermont on March 17, 2018, and rented the white Ford claiming that it would be returned on March 18, 2018 in New York. The Mexican citizens admitted entering the United States that night.
The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charge in the complaint is merely an accusation, and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until she is proven guilty.
If convicted, Ferrufino Perdomo faces up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.
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.
Ferrufino Perdomo was represented at today’s hearing by Federal Public Defender Steven Barth. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Van de Graaf.