A Honduran man was charged in the U.S. District Court of Vermont on Wednesday with transporting 15 illegal immigrants to the U.S. through Canada.
The U.S. Attorney's Office charged 25-year-old Hector Ramon Perez-Alvarado after Border Patrol officials said he allegedly drove 11 Guatemalans and four Mexicans, including two who had been deported multiple times, from the Canadian border to a hotel in Derby, Vt., according to a Customs and Border Protection statement issued Wednesday.
On Oct. 7, border agents spotted a Nissan van with no license plate driving back and forth between Beebe Road on the Canadian border and the Four Seasons Motel in Derby. Other agents reported seeing several men walking south from the border in the same region.
After midnight on Oct. 8, agents pulled the van over in the motel parking lot. They found the driver, Perez-Alvarado, and six people inside — none of whom had entered legally.
Perez-Alvarado referred the agents to his hotel room. Agents went to recover his belongings and found nine other illegal immigrants there.
Upon reviewing each person's background, agents that found two of them, Noe Perez-Ramirez of Mexico and Alberto Alvarado-Castro of Mexico, had been previously deported. Illegally entering the U.S. is a misdemeanor the first time and felony any time thereafter. Alvarado-Castro has multiple felony burglary convictions in the U.S.
Perez-Alvarado faces up to 75 years in prison and a $3.75 million fine. Perez-Ramirez and Alvarado-Castro face up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
All three appeared in court in Burlington, Vt., Wednesday morning, where Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy remanded them into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service.