Charlotte immigrant caught with SUV full of Mexicans smuggled into US, agents say

Charlotte immigrant caught with SUV full of Mexicans smuggled into US, agents say
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CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) - The U.S. Border Patrol says a Charlotte woman was part of a scheme to bring people into the U.S. illegally, via Canada.

A complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Burlington says Border Patrol agents were alerted early Sunday that six people had walked into the United States from Canada in Highgate, Vermont.

The suspect, Carmen Melari Ferrufino Perdomo, is a 28-year-old Charlottean, media outlets report. Investigators say Ferrufino Perdomo was seen driving an SUV Saturday that included six Mexican citizens who were being brought into the country illegally, said a government press release. The six passengers, who were between the ages of 21 and 54, told investigators they had crossed into the United States that night, reported the Associated Press.

None of the Mexican citizens, who were arrested as material witnesses in the case, had criminal or immigration records, reported AP.

The Border Patrol says the area where the group was first spotted has seen multiple smuggling events in the past few weeks, reported AP.

The complaint said Ferrufino Perdomo flew from New York to Burlington on Saturday, where she rented the car in which she was apprehended, said a press release. Records said she had planned to return the vehicle later Sunday in New York, said government officials. Ferrufino Perdomo is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally form Honduras.

In recent months the Border Patrol has had multiple smuggling incidents in the area, reported the Associated Press.

If convicted, Ferrufino Perdomo faces up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.

The Swanton Sector Border Patrol is responsible for securing the land border between ports of entry in Vermont as well as New Hampshire and northeastern New York.