‘Operation Safe Border’ nabs immigrant

“Operation Safe Border,” a 48-hour joint effort between numerous law enforcement agencies from Ontario and Minnesota, laid drug charges and even stopped an illegal immigrant from getting into Canada.
Meanwhile, five Americans who had been reported missing on Lake of the Woods late Tuesday were found by an OPP helicopter unit around 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Numerous resources were diverted to assist in the search for the boaters, including the U.S. National Guard, RCMP, U.S. Border Patrol, OPP, and Lake of the Woods County Sheriff Department.
The boaters had experienced motor problems and subsequently were rescued by the U.S. Border Patrol and Lake of the Woods Sheriff Department.
On Wednesday evening, OPP members involved in “Operation Safe Border” arrested a male who was trying to break a window at a local pharmacy in Fort Frances.
A 19-year-old male was charged with mischief and will appear in court at a later date.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, a person was arrested by U.S. Customs officers at the International Falls port of entry. It was related to smuggling activities involving the illegal importation of narcotics into the U.S.
Also Tuesday, the U.S. Border Patrol arrested a citizen of Mexico, who was in the U.S. illegally after being refused entry to Canada.
The male will be returned to Mexico at a later date.
Officers also arrested and charged a man with possession of marijuana after they conducted a vehicle stop on Highway 11 near Pinewood.
Also during the two-day blitz, 45 vehicles were checked on area roads and highways, resulting in two Highway Traffic Act charges, one Liquor Licence Act charge, one Criminal Code offence, and 20 warnings.
And 156 commercial vehicles were checked, resulting in 22 Highway Traffic Act offences. Seven vehicles were detained as unfit, and one Controlled Drug and Substance Act charge and two dangerous goods charges were laid along with 27 warnings.
On the water, 198 boats were checked, resulting in 10 Small Vessel Act charges, one Liquor Licence Act charge, one Customs Act charge, and three warnings.
Lonny Schweitzer, U.S. Border Patrol assistant chief agent, and OPP Insp. Shawn Hayes deemed “Operation Safe Border” very successful. The agencies were able to work communication and logistics required for an operation of this magnitude.
Public safety and border security was achieved with significant intelligence being acquired during this operation—information that will be shared between the agencies, they said.
The agencies will continue to work together daily and participate in future joint operations.
The agencies focused on an area from Rainy Lake to Lake of the Woods, encompassing St. Louis, Koochiching, and Lake of the Woods counties in northern Minnesota and the southern part of Rainy River District from Sept. 10-12.

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