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Press Release

Canadian Truck Driver Arrested For Attemping To Smuggle Two Polish Citizens Into The U.S.

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 William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Leszek Budzyna, 50, a citizen of Canada, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with attempted alien smuggling and making false statements. In addition, Monika Gondek, 47, and Jerzy Mariusz Madej, 54, both of Poland, were also arrested and charged by criminal complaint with eluding examination and inspection by immigration officials. Budzyna faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Gondek and Madej face a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on March 1, 2016, Budzyna was driving a commercial truck and attempted to enter the United States at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry. Budzyna indicated to a Customs and Border Protection officer that he was traveling to the U.S. to pick up a trailer and that he was traveling alone. Budzyna was referred for a secondary inspection.

During the secondary inspection, the truck was x-rayed and something was detected in the cab of the truck. Officers entered the truck and discovered Gondek and Madej hidden in the sleeper area of the cab of the truck. 

The defendants made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. and are being detained.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Acting Director of Field Operations Rose Hilmey, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.

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

Updated March 4, 2016