ALEXANDRIA BAY A Mississippi man who mistakenly wound up at the Canadian border while trying to take illegal aliens from Texas to Fort Covington pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to a charge of transporting aliens.
Jason Lindsey, 34, Biloxi, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine at his Aug. 1 sentencing in U.S. District Court, Syracuse.
According to a criminal complaint filed with the court, Mr. Lindseys boss at a carpet business in Gulfport, Miss., instructed him on Oct. 5 to pick up $2,400 in cash from an unidentified male and send it to a man in Mexico. A day later, he was told to pick up $1,200 from the man and send it to someone in Rio Grande, Texas.
On Oct. 9, Mr. Lindsey was given $5,500 from the man and was told to drive to Houston to pick up three illegal aliens from Mexico. The money was to be given to coyotes who had smuggled the men into the United States. He returned with the men to Gulfport before traveling to New York on Oct. 15. The next day, he stopped at Walmart in Watertown to buy his passengers soap and shampoo, according to the complaint. Mr. Lindsey was then told by his boss that he was to travel with the men to an address in Fort Covington.
However, according to the complaint, Mr. Lindseys global satellite positioning system offered him a route along Interstate 81 to the Canadian border. The complaint states that Lindsey did not intend to go to Canada, but the GPS led them there. He was refused entry into Canada and was returned to U.S. Customs at the Alexandria Bay port of entry, where he told agents he was headed to the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino.
In court Friday, he admitted that he was paid to transport the aliens and that he knew they were in the country illegally. He remains free on pretrial release awaiting sentence.