GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (FOX 5 NY) - When a human smuggler trying to sneak two people across the Niagara River from Canada into the United States saw a U.S. Border Patrol agent on Wednesday, he tried to gun the jet ski he was operating but instead got stuck in ice according to federal authorities.
Wanderson Dos Santos Freitas, a Brazilian citizen living in Toronto, Canada, then ditched the jet ski and his human cargo, walked across the ice to the U.S. shoreline in on Grand Island, New York, and was arrested, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
One of his passengers, a man, then also walked to shore but the other passenger, a woman, was apparently too scared to leave the boat, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Firefighters responded on an inflatable boat and rescued the woman.
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested the man, a Brazilian citizen, and the woman, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, and sent them for deportation processing, officials said.
"I commend our agents for apprehending this smuggling attempt and our local partner agencies which responded and provided support and assistance," Patrol Agent in Charge Jeffrey Wilson said in a statement.
Authorities charged Dos Santos Freitas with bringing a foreigner into the country for profit. He faced a federal magistrate judge on Thursday.