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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 14, 2018

Canadian Man Charged With Leading Police On A High Speed Chase And Assaulting An Officer

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Feng Chen, 23, of Ontario, Canada, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with assaulting a federal officer by means of a dangerous weapon, evading a checkpoint operated by a Federal law enforcement agency in a motor vehicle in excess of the legal speed limit, and with eluding inspection by immigration officials. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that on December 10, 2018, at approximately 2:30 p.m., the defendant was attempting to enter the United States at the Lewiston Bridge Port of Entry. Chen turned over his passport when it was requested by a Customs and Border Protection officer. However, when the officer asked the defendant for his citizenship and destination, he did not answer the questions, and then sped through the inspection checkpoint.

The officer called out “port runner” over the radio, and a CBP officer began pursuing Chen’s vehicle, in a marked unit, with emergency lights and sirens activated. During the course of the chase, the defendant was weaving in and out of traffic at an unsafe speed. The pursuit continued on to Grand Island, where a New York State Police unit, with activated emergency lights, entered the roadway in front of Chen’s vehicle in an attempt to stop it. Rather than stop, the defendant struck the rear of the New York State Police vehicle at a high rate of speed, and the came to a stop.

Following the collision, Chen failed to comply with a CBP officer’s commands. As the officer attempted to remove the defendant from his vehicle, Chen struck and punched the CBP officer with his fist, near the officer’s left eye, resulting in an abrasion on the side of officer’s face. The defendant was then transported to Mt. Saint Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, NY.

Based on immigration record checks, the defendant has no valid immigration status in the United States and is present illegally in the United States in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act. 

“Border security is essential to our very existence as a Nation,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “We, together with our state and local partners, remain vigilant and committed to protecting our citizens and upholding the rule of law not only within our country but also at its borders.”

“Our officers and state partners did an excellent job ensuring this port runner was apprehended. If you attempt to enter the U.S without inspection we will pursue and apprehend you,” said CBP Buffalo Field Office Director ose Brophy. “Border security is paramount to our country's safety and it starts with ensuring everyone is properly inspected at the border. I’d like to thank the New York State Police for assisting our officers in the apprehension of the subject.”

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and is being held pending a detention hearing scheduled for December 18, 2018, at 12:00 p.m.

The complaint is the result of investigation by Homeland Security investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Rose Brophy; and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Updated December 14, 2018