A Florida Man Is Charged With Smuggling After 4 People Were Found Dead At The Canada-US Border

Seven other people from the group have been found alive by U.S. Border Patrol.

A Florida Man Is Charged With Smuggling After 4 People Were Found Dead At The Canada-US Border
Senior Creator

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After two adults, a teenager and an infant were found dead at the Canada-U.S. border by Manitoba RCMP, a Florida man has been arrested and charged in the U.S. with human smuggling.

Following the announcement from RCMP about the discovery of four deceased people, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota revealed that Steve Shand, a 47-year-old American citizen, was arrested on January 19 when U.S. Border Patrol initiated a traffic stop near the border.

Shand was driving a 15-passenger van in a rural area between the official ports of entry in Lancaster, Minnesota and Pembina, North Dakota.

Officers found that two passengers in the van were undocumented Indian nationals.

They also found plastic cups, water bottles, bottled juice and snacks at the back of the van along with receipts for the food and rental agreement receipts for the van in Shand's name.

U.S. Border Patrol arrested Shand for smuggling undocumented foreign nationals.

He is charged with "one count of knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien had come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law, having transported, and moved or having attempted to transport and move such aliens."

According to police, while Shand and the two passengers were being transported to a border patrol station, law enforcement officers found five more Indian nationals less than a kilometre south of the Canada-U.S. border.

They were said to be walking in the direction of where Shand was arrested.

The people told police that they had walked across the border and were expecting to be picked up by someone. They believed they had been walking for more than 11 hours.

As Manitoba RCMP previously reported, one person was found with a backpack that had items meant for an infant but there was no infant in the group.

Court documents said that one of the group members found by U.S. Border Patrol said he was carrying the backpack for a family of four that had been walking with their group but got separated in the night.

Later on January 19, U.S. Border Patrol was alerted by RCMP that "four bodies were found frozen" on the Canadian side of the border.

"The dead bodies were tentatively identified as the family of four that was separated," the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota said.

Manitoba RCMP said it's believed that they died due to exposure to the cold weather.

Two of the surviving people in the group found in the U.S. were seriously injured and had to be transported to a hospital.

Lisa Belmonte
Senior Creator
Lisa Belmonte is a Senior Creator for Narcity Media focused on jobs and careers and is based in Ontario.