Border agents arrest 17 people at New Hampshire checkpoint
WOODSTOCK, N.H. (AP) — A three-day checkpoint operation that took place during the Memorial Day weekend in northern New Hampshire led to the arrests of 17 people living in the U.S. illegally.
They were from several countries and charged with immigration violations at the Woodstock checkpoint staffed by U.S. Border Patrol agents, the Department of Homeland Security said.
They had come from Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Montenegro, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Some had overstayed their visas. They were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“Checkpoint operations are a critical enforcement tool for the enforcement of our immigration laws and are a part of our defense in depth strategy,” said Robert Garcia, acting chief patrol agent for the Swanton Sector.
Agents are allowed to set up such checkpoints within 100 miles of the border. The Woodstock location is about 90 miles from the Canadian border.
The Department of Homeland Security said agents at the checkpoints can question occupants in vehicles about their citizenship and birthplace and request proof of immigration status.
Agents also seized drugs and drug paraphernalia, including a small amount of marijuana.
Earlier this month, a New Hampshire judge suppressed evidence against more than a dozen people who were charged with drug possession after being stopped and searched by border agents last summer in northern New Hampshire.