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Press Release

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty To Speeding Through Lewiston Border Crossing

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Raison Holt, 25, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo, Jr. to high speed flight from border checkpoint. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan A. Tokash, who is handling the case, stated that on January 20, 2020, around 6:00 a.m., the defendant was driving a motor vehicle on the Lewiston-Queenstown Bridge, heading into Canada. Before entering Canada, Holt turned around in the middle of the bridge and drove toward the United States at the Lewiston Bridge Port of Entry in Lewiston. Despite numerous “stop” signs posted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the defendant failed to stop for federal inspection.

At a vehicle check point just past the initial inspection gate, a CBP officer verbally ordered Holt to stop, but the defendant ignored the command and accelerated on Interstate 190, and then onto the route 104 exit ramp. CBP vehicles gave chase in pursuit of the defendant’s speeding vehicle. Officers witnessed Holt lose control of his vehicle and crash into a ditch on the side of the road. The defendant attempted to run away but officers took the Holt into custody. It was subsequently determined that the vehicle the defendant was driving was stolen. Holt was turned over to the Buffalo Police Department for an outstanding arrest warrant for Grand Larceny and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.

The plea is the result of an investigation by Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Rose Brophy, Director of Field Operations.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 21, 2020, before Judge Vilardo.  

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Updated April 14, 2020