Buffalo, N.Y. – Three people were taken into custody after allegedly crossing Lake Ontario on jet ski in an attempt to illegally enter the United States.
Federal prosecutors say the plan fell apart when the jet ski became stuck on the ice.
Wednesday, Border Patrol agents spotted the jet ski and three people about 50-60 feet from the Beaver Island State Park shoreline.
Prosecutors say the operator, Wanderson Dos Santos Freitas, tried pushing the jet ski away from the shoreline and tried restarting it before it began smoking. Prosecutors say he eventually walked across the ice to the shoreline and was taken into custody.
One of the passengers, Angelo Valentim-Zuccolotto of Brazil, also eventually crossed over the ice, prosecutors say. The second passenger, Andria Raposo-Marte of the Dominican Republican, reportedly had to be rescued by inflatable boat after she did not get off the jet ski.
Dos Santos Freitas appeared in federal court Thursday. He’s charged with bringing an alien to the United States for financial gain or commercial advantage and faces 3-10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine if convicted.