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News stories tagged with "smuggling"

Coast Guard Auxiliary on patrol.  Below, a gap between the U.S. and Canada where smuggling was popular during Prohibition.
Coast Guard Auxiliary on patrol. Below, a gap between the U.S. and Canada where smuggling was popular during Prohibition.

A tour of smugglers' havens on the St. Lawrence

Among the people most likely to see suspicious activity on the river are members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Formed to patrol America's waters at the beginning of World War 2, the Auxiliary has more than 30,000 volunteers nationwide, more than 1000 across New York. After the Waterway Watch press conference, one volunteer gave his higher-up a tour of spots in the Thousand Islands that used to be popular for smuggling and could be again. David Sommerstein produced this Heard Up North.  Go to full article

Border Patrol Downplays Minutemen

Civilian border watchers and their critics gathered on the Vermont border with Canada over the weekend. Between 6 and 10 volunteers for the Minuteman Project monitored the border in the Newport, Jay, and Troy areas. The group says it wants to draw attention to gaps in border security. Protestors had hoped to attract 100 people to the Derby Line green. Organizer Leah Siegel of Burlington told the Associated Press the demonstration was to oppose what she called the Minutemens' "rascist agenda". The Minutemen say they're coming to Massena this coming weekend. As David Sommerstein reports, the border patrol is downplaying their arrival.  Go to full article

Mohawks Request Border Security Funding

The maze of islands and St. Lawrence River channels along the St. Regis Reservation near Massena have given the Akwesasne Mohawk community a reputation for smuggling. In the 30s, alcohol came across a mostly porous border with Canada by boat and automobile. In the 1990s the contraband was cigarettes. Around 2000, it was illegal aliens. Today, smugglers favor hydroponic marijuana from Canada. Mohawk tribal police work closely with law enforcement in the U.S. and Canada to stem the tide of illegal border crossings. Yet the tribal police receive no money from Washington for their efforts - even as border security funding rises in response to international terrorism. As David Sommerstein reports, Mohawk chiefs are trying to change that.  Go to full article

Mohawk Arson Probe Still Searching

State and tribal police are baffled over an unprecedented arson spree on the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena. Since October 2002, suspicious blazes have consumed more than 70 abandoned buildings, the latest on January 1st. Several cars have been burnt since then. The Mohawk territory spans the international border and the St. Lawrence River. Police say those boundaries have impeded the search for suspects. David Sommerstein spoke with Charles Bishop, the New York State Police investigator in Massena who's heading the investigation.  Go to full article

Filming the Frozen River

Filming for the short movie Frozen River wraps up tonight and tomorrow along the St. Lawrence River on the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation. Written and directed by an award-winning New York City based filmmaker, Frozen River is about two women who are driven by poverty to smuggle aliens across the U.S.-Canada border in the dark of night. The subject matter has raised some eyebrows on the reservation. David Sommerstein visited the set and has this report.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence Smuggling Update

Cross-border smuggling among the maze-like territory of the St. Lawrence River near Akwesasne has dogged the Mohawks' reputation for years, especially since high-profile cigarette smuggling busts in the 1990s. In the late '90s and 2000, smuggling Asian illegal immigrants spiked. David Sommerstein spoke yesterday with Akwesasne Mohawk Police Chief Louis Mitchell. Mitchell says alien traffic dropped dramatically after September 11, 2001.  Go to full article

Seneca Cigarette Smugglers Linked to Hezbollah

Two women from the Seneca Nation in western New York are indicted for participation in a cigarette smuggling ring that allegedly helped fund the terrorist group Hezbollah. David Sommerstein has details.  Go to full article
The US-Canada border on tribal land in the town of St. Regis is marked only by a small stone obelisk.
The US-Canada border on tribal land in the town of St. Regis is marked only by a small stone obelisk.

Akwesasne: Two Countries, One Nation and the Border

As the federal government seeks to beef up border security since September 11, it's begun working with tribal governments to make patrolling these areas more effective. The lands of the Akwesasne Mohawks near Massena are actually split in two by the U.S-Canada border. As David Sommerstein reports, the area highlights both the challenges of border security on and near reservations and some new initiatives in border patrol.  Go to full article
US Border Patrol Agent peers across the St. Lawrence River.
US Border Patrol Agent peers across the St. Lawrence River.

St. Lawrence River Smuggling has a Venerable History

Martha Foley talks with St. Lawrence County historian Trent Trulock about the long history of smuggling on the St. Lawrence River.  Go to full article

Mohawk and US Officials Investigate Akwesasne Smuggling Incident

St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police are working with U.S. investigators to determine how seven people smuggled several pounds of marijuana and over two thousand dollars of counterfeit money into the country. Most of the alleged smugglers live on or near the St. Regis Mohawk reservation near Massena. David Sommerstein has the latest in the case.  Go to full article

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