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Indian citizen indicted for alien smuggling through Native American reservation in New York

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A 40-year-old Indian citizen was extradited to the United States from Canada on charges related to alien smuggling and conspiracy to commit alien smuggling.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York reports that Simranjit Singh, who goes by "Shally" Singh, was brought to the United States from Canada for indictments on March 30, 2023, and arraigned in Albany for his alleged involvement in facilitating the smuggling of humans from Canada into the United States across the St. Lawrence River.

Indian nationals were allegedly being smuggled from Canada onto Cornwall Island, which sits in the St. Lawrence River between the U.S. and Canada. The illegal aliens landed in the Akwesasne Mohawk Indian Reservation in upstate New York.

Singh was taken into custody in late June 2022 and subsequently charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling for profit and six counts of alien smuggling for profit.

If convicted on all charges, Singh faces at least five years in prison with a possibility of 15. This would include at least three years of supervised release upon leaving prison.

At least five law enforcement agencies are involved in the investigation, including the United States Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Canadian Border Services Agency, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Human smuggling over the U.S.-Canada border is not infrequent, however; in May 2022, six Indian nationals were allegedly caught alongside a U.S. citizen on a sinking boat during a failed human-smuggling attempt approaching New York state.

In January 2022, a man was charged with human smuggling for allegedly transporting Indian nationals across the border into Minnesota.

In May 2020, five Mexican nationals and a citizen from Gambia were caught on a bus being driven by an Iraqi naturalized U.S. citizen into Vermont from Canada. A human-smuggling complaint was allegedly filed against the man.

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