GREAT FALLS — The arrest of 19 Mexican citizens in northern Montana has led to charges against four of them for allegedly smuggling people into the United States from Canada.
The four suspects appeared in federal court in Great Falls on Thursday on charges of illegal transport and conspiracy to transport aliens. They did not enter pleas. A fifth defendant made an initial appearance on a charge of illegal reentry.
All five were detained pending further court proceedings.
Court records say law enforcement officers received information about suspicious rental activity at a Cut Bank hotel by several Mexican citizens over the previous six months. Border Patrol agents suspected Mexican citizens were coming into the country illegally from Canada.
Officers stopped two sport utility vehicles late on Nov. 17 near Cut Bank and arrested 19 people.
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