June 11, 2013

Akwesasne man pleads guilty to alien smuggling


---- — AKWESASNE — An Akwesasne man pleaded guilty to felony charges related to transporting illegal aliens and missing a court date.

On June 4, Nathan Samson Martin, 31, admitted before U.S. District Court Judge Glenn T. Suddaby in Syracuse to conspiring to bring and to then bringing illegal aliens into the United States from Canada and transporting them within the United States, a felony, and failure to appear at federal court proceedings after his pretrial release, according to a press release from the State Attorney General’s Office.


Martin was one of three indicted in April 2010 for conspiring to smuggle aliens from Canada into the United States for commercial gain in 2009 and 2010.

Martin is the second defendant to admit his role in the conspiracy, the Attorney General’s Office said. Carl Thompson previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Dennis Jocko of Cornwall Island, Ontario, remains a fugitive from justice after escaping from pre-trial supervision upon release by U.S. Magistrate Judge Larry Kudrle, according to the release.


On Feb. 8, 2010, Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service officers in Canada alerted St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police and U.S. Border Patrol agents to a vehicle that crossed the “ice bridge” from Cornwall Island to St. Regis Village, Quebec, and continued into Franklin County.

New York law-enforcement officers saw a person dropped off in Hogansburg then tried to stop the vehicle for an immigration inspection, according to court documents. The driver, later identified as Martin, tried to flee but was apprehended. 

Martin was paid part of the smuggling fee, the illegal alien told authorities.


Martin was released in February 2010 under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office, but he failed to appear for a hearing in January 2011.

On Jan. 7, 2013, St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police apprehended him on a federal arrest warrant.

He faces a maximum of 10 and minimum of three years in prison on the charge of bringing illegal aliens to the United States. 

The charge of failure to appear in court has a maximum of five years of imprisonment, as do the other two counts of conspiracy and transporting aliens.

Federal law requires the court to run sentences for failure to appear consecutive to any other sentence.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 10; Martin will remain in jail until then.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York is prosecuting the case.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in Massena with assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police, Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Canadian Border Services Agency and Surete du Quebec.

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