St. Mary Border Patrol Agents Arrest Irish Citizen After Illegal Entry

The man was carrying clothes in a backpack and did not possess anything illegal

By Dillon Tabish
The slash line, indicating the border between U.S. and Canada, pictured Aug. 25, 2015. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a 47-year-old man from Ireland who entered the U.S. illegally near the Chief Mountain Port of Entry in Northwest Montana.

Michael Rappold, public affairs officer for the Havre Sector Border Patrol Station, said the individual was detained by the new horse patrol unit at the St. Mary station near the northeast section of Glacier National Park. The unit, which debuted this spring, is similar to a separate horse patrol based out of the Whitefish Border Patrol station and is used to maneuver the rugged terrain in and around Glacier Park.

Agents encountered the man carrying a large backpack along the international border. The man had previously overstayed his visa and was prohibited from re-entering the U.S. for an extended period of time, according to Rappold.

Authorities say the man illegally entered the U.S. from Canada by walking southbound through the woods in an effort to avoid detection. He was arrested and processed for a removal hearing. He remains in custody with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to Rappold, the man was carrying clothes in a backpack and did not possess anything illegal.

“This is a great example of how effective our agents are at identifying and interdicting cross border traffic in remote areas of the border,” said Border Patrol Division Chief John South. “They’re always ready to carry out our agency’s mission and safeguard the public.”

In June, Border Patrol agents arrested five Romanian nationals who had entered the U.S. illegally and were panhandling in Whitefish.

Residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity at 1-888-700-6781, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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