Canadian Man Pleads Guilty In A Smuggling Attempt At The Border
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Tonin Ndoja, 50, a citizen of Canada, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer involving his attempt to smuggle aliens into the United States before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S Attorney Scott S. Allen, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that on November 12, 2014, Ndoja attempted to enter the United States from Canada at the Peace Bridge. The defendant, a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card holder and member of the trusted traveler program, was driving a tractor trailer carrying rolled steel. During a secondary inspection, officers with Customs and Border Protection discovered defendants Bardok and Kleda Tusha, both citizens of Albania, hidden inside the cab of the tractor trailer under a blanket.
“This shows the continuing need for vigilance in protecting our nation's borders,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “As this case demonstrates, law enforcement is well prepared to protect our country-even where the defendant is anything but trustworthy.”
Defendants Bardok and Kleda Tusha pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of illegal entry and were sentenced to time served.
The case is the result of an investigation by Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Randy Howe.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 30, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.