Border officials arrest 3 in alleged smuggling attempt on St. Clair River

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Three foreign nationals were arrested this week in an alleged human smuggling attempt on the St. Clair River, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced Thursday.

At around 3 a.m. Tuesday, Border Patrol dispatchers monitoring a video surveillance system spotted a vessel on the waterway near Algonac cross the international border, representatives said in a statement. 

The site was near what investigators call a known smuggling route.

"Dispatch officials immediately notified agents in the area of a possible smuggling incident taking place," authorities said Thursday.

Marysville agents on patrol responded and quickly found three people near the site where the vessel was last seen headed toward the United States. An agent interviewed the group, who said they had just crossed over from Canada in a boat, said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The three were taken into custody and transported to the Border Patrol station for processing. Authorities confirmed one person was a 53-year-old man from the Dominican Republic and two women, ages 25 and 26, from Mexico.

Other details were not released Thursday.

“Intercepting this was made possible by technology, and the teamwork of our agents and support personal," said Chief Patrol Agent Robert Danley. "I am proud of the vigilance and dedication to duty displayed by the men and women of Detroit Sector."