Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers in southeast Saskatchewan had another busy month in February, according to numbers released last week.
At North Portal, the province’s busiest port of entry, CBSA officers processed 18,807 travellers, 5,018 cars and 9,796 commercial trucks. Officers at the Port of Estevan processed 2,135 cars, 200 trucks and 4,450 travellers.
CBSA officers also refused entry to 39 people, including 21 for previous criminal records. They issued 61 work permits, 10 study permits, and granted permanent resident status to 262 people.
There were also 15 seizure actions that resulted in $16,500 in penalties for travellers who either undervalued or did not declare their goods.
At the North Portal crossing, on February 1, two men were coming to Canada for a brief visit. The first man, a North Dakota resident, had a recent conviction for domestic violence by strangulation, and was scheduled to be sentenced later in the month. The second man did not have the appropriate travel documents required to enter Canada. Both men were refused entry and returned to the U.S.
Five days later, a 32-year-old Georgia man was travelling to northern Alberta, where he was awaiting the proper documents to work in Canada. Further investigation revealed that he was planning on working illegally until he secured the proper documentation. He was refused entry until he receives the appropriate documents to legally work in Canada.
The next day, a 61-year-old Saskatchewan man was importing race car and trailer equipment with a combined value of $15,000. Suspecting that the value appeared low for the make and model of the vehicle, the officer investigated the man’s declaration. It was determined that the individual had actually paid $30,000 for the car and trailer. The vehicles were seized and returned after a $9,738 penalty was paid. The man would have only paid $1,500 in goods and services tax (GST) had he been honest.
On February 10, a 52-year-old North Dakota man was travelling to central Saskatchewan for employment training. He was refused entry by officers, as he had two assault convictions last year.
A 27-year-old Colorado man tried to enter Canada on February 14, as he said he was visiting his girlfriend for two to three weeks. He was actually intending to move to Canada, as he had all his personal belongings with him, a job offer from a Canadian company, and was waiting for the Labour Market Opinion. He has no home address in the U.S. due to his impending move to Canada, but was untruthful throughout the examination. He was refused entry and returned to the U.S.
On February 17, a man applied for a work permit to work in Canada. The man had a previous work permit that expired in August of last year, but during an examination, officers determined that he had continued working in Canada without a valid permit. The man was refused entry to Canada and will not be allowed to apply for work for six months.
A 40-year-old Alberta resident was importing a trailer on February 19 that he claimed he had purchased in the U.S. for $16,000. Officers discovered that he had actually paid $17,000. In total, he paid $1,480 in taxes and penalties, while he would have only paid $850 in GST if he would have made an honest declaration.
On the same day, officers examined the truck of a Texas man moving to Alaska. Inside the truck, officers found six prohibited over-capacity magazines that had not been declared. Officers seized the magazines and the vehicle. The man paid a $500 penalty for the return of the vehicle, and continued into Canada.
On February 24, a 50-year-old B.C. man was importing two motorcycles valued at $13,500. Officers verified his purchase and noticed that modifications totaling $9,860 had been made to the bikes, but not reported. The motorcycles were seized and returned once a $5,425 penalty was paid for their return. The man attempted to evade $484 in GST.
Also on February 24, officers examined the vehicle of a 23-year-old Mississippi man travelling to Alaska. Inside his truck, officers found undeclared parts to a shotgun, as well as a cooler of undeclared alcohol that included 17 cans of beer, 18 coolers and 1.4 litres of spirits. The alcohol was seized with no terms of release. The gun part was seized and returned once a $165 penalty was paid for its return.
The following day, a 40-year-old commercial driver from Oklahoma was refused entry, as he had previous convictions for burglary, grand larceny, conspiracy to travel interstate while aiding and abetting a racketeering enterprise, and manufacturing methamphetamines. He returned to the U.S.
At the Estevan crossing, on February 1, a 27-year-old North Dakota resident wanted to visit a friend in Estevan for the weekend. Background checks revealed that the man had recent charges from December 2013 for reckless endangerment, terrorizing and discharging a firearm within city limits. As the charges had not been dealt with before the court, he was refused entry and returned to the United States.
On February 22, a 38-year-old North Dakota resident was going to a party in Estevan. The man admitted that he had spent time in jail for past convictions. Background checks revealed two separate convictions for battery. He was refused entry and returned to the U.S.
The same day, a 32-year-old Texas man was coming to Canada. During an examination, officers located an undeclared rifle. The gun was seized and the man was refused entry for having committed a crime upon entry.
At the Port of Northgate, a 53-year-old Saskatchewan man was importing various collectables and household items from the U.S. on February 1. The man advised officers that he had been away for 48 hours, and was seeking to receive the $800 personal exemption on his goods. Officers determined that he had actually only been absent for 24 hours. Because of the man’s attempt to deceive the officer, the goods were seized and returned once a $250 penalty was paid.
On February 28, a 31-year-old male was travelling to Manitoba. Background checks revealed that he had two outstanding charges for writing bad cheques in North Dakota, and a theft charge in Montana. He was refused entry and returned to the U.S.
At the Oungre border crossing, a 55-year-old Texas man was arrested on February 17, after officers found two loaded handguns and two over-capacity magazines in his vehicle. The man was turned over to CBSA criminal investigations. Four days later, the male, John Chris Blanchard, pled guilty in Regina Provincial Court to smuggling under the Customs Act and was sentenced to time-served and a $5,000 fine.
On February 28, a 36-year-old male from North Dakota was refused entry for previous convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) and a reckless driving. He returned to the United States.