INTERNATIONAL FALLS – The United States Border Patrol Agents assigned to the International Falls Station detained seven people after observing them enter the United States illegally on snowmobiles on Rainy Lake. On March 24, 2018, agents observed five snowmobiles travel south from Canada and illegally enter the United States on Rainy Lake near Dryweed Island. Agents responded to investigate and encountered seven individuals at a local lodge. Through questioning, it was determined that all of the individuals were citizens of the United States and that they had been fishing in Canada.
Three of the individuals claimed to have been working as fishing guides and the other four were their clients. The three fishing guides were cited for violation of 19 USC 1436 (Failure to Report Arrival into the United States) and the five snowmobiles used in violation of the law were seized. The four clients were released after being issued an administrative warning and were advised of the proper reporting procedures.
“Being informed and knowing your surroundings is the best way to ensure that you are complying with the law,” said Division Chief Michael Hanson.
While open water at the border has unique requirements when traveling by boat, once it becomes a solid surface, it is treated as a land boundary. Once a border is crossed you have to seek re-admission at a designated port of entry. Failure to report can result in civil penalties as defined in Title 19, United States Code, Section 1436 to include a penalty of $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation with the conveyance subject to seizure and forfeiture.