HUDSON - A Hudson woman has been charged with the unlawful transportation of illegal immigrants from the United States into Canada.
According to a statement from The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, on Oct. 16, shortly after 1 a.m., United States Border Patrol agents identified a potential illegal border crossing after observing a group of people walking southward, east of the Highgate Springs Port of Entry, which is very close to Vermont’s border with Canada.
Shortly after agents began investigating, they saw a Toyota Rav4 near Exit 22 off Interstate 89. According to The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, the vehicle left the area and returned to the same location a short time later.
Border Patrol stopped the RAV4 and identified the driver as Patricia Ruano-Murcia, 31, of Hudson, Massachusetts. Three illegal immigrants were in the rear passenger seat of Ruano-Murcia’s RAV4 and three others were huddled in the vehicle’s rear cargo area.
“The six passengers in the RAV4 thereafter admitted to not being citizens of the United States and lacking immigration documents authorizing them to enter and remain in the United States,” The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont said in a release. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office notes that a criminal complaint is an accusation only and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.”
Ruano-Murcia was arraigned by Magistrate Judge Kevin Doyle in The United States District Court of Vermont today.
If convicted, Ruano-Murcia could face up to five years in prison.