Akwesasne man pleads guilty to smuggling six people over border

Aug. 31—Akwesasne man pleads guilty to smuggling six people over border

ALBANY — Shane Barnes, 38, Akwesasne, pleaded guilty this week to transporting six people illegally into the country.

U.S. Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Chief Patrol Agent Robert N. Garcia, U.S. Border Patrol Swanton Sector, made the announcement.

In pleading guilty, Barnes admitted that on Sept. 28, 2022, he drove a pickup truck to the riverbank of the U.S. side of the St. Regis River. Shortly after arriving at the riverbank, six people emerged from the woods and got into the pickup truck. The defendant then drove them to Hogansburg, and then to Bombay. The defendant further admitted that he expected to be paid for transporting the people, who are not in the country legally.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 10, before U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd in Utica. Barnes faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years. A defendant's sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

This case was investigated by U.S. Border Patrol. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Belliss.