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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Canadian Woman Pleads Guilty To Attempting To Enter The United States Illegally

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Marta Sawicka, 35, of Canada, pleaded guilty to attempting to enter the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder. The defendant was then sentenced to time served.   

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who handled the case, on July 18, 2016, Sawicka was found illegally entering the United States from Canada by walking across the upper level of the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge around 2:30 a.m. The upper level of the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge is designated solely for railroad traffic and is clearly marked with signs as a no trespassing area. The lower level of the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge is designated for passenger vehicle traffic and is in operation only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. daily. Outside of these hours the lower level of the bridge is closed with locked gates preventing vehicle or pedestrian traffic between the United States and Canada.  The defendant was spotted by a Border Patrol officer and arrested.

During processing at the Border Patrol Station, Sawicka was fingerprinted which revealed prior immigration history. In February 2016, the defendant attempted to enter the United States at the Highgate Springs Port of Entry in Vermont but was stopped by Customs and Border Protection Officers. Sawicka was removed and was barred from reentering the United States for a period of five years.

The plea and sentencing are the culmination of an investigation by U.S. Border Patrol, under the direction of Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings.

Updated July 21, 2016