PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK – Mario Flores-Arias, age 32, and a citizen of Mexico, was arrested on December 5 and charged by criminal complaint with alien smuggling.
The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Robert N. Garcia, Chief Patrol Agent, United States Border Patrol, Swanton Sector.
The criminal complaint alleges that Flores-Arias was arrested while transporting three foreign nationals who had illegally crossed into the United States through the woods near Chateaugay, New York. Border Patrol Agents stopped Flores-Arias’s vehicle and detained the occupants.
The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Flores-Arias appeared before United Magistrate Judge Gary L. Favro on December 8 and was ordered detained pending trial.
If convicted, Flores-Arias faces up to 5 years in prison. The three occupants of the vehicle, all citizens of Vietnam, were found to be illegally present in the United States. They were detained and expelled to Canada.
This case is being investigated by United States Border Patrol and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Stitt.