An illegal alien from Honduras who got lost in June and found himself dealing with U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents at Alexandria Bay was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, to six months incarceration for unlawfully being in the United States.
Kenny Zaldivar-Mejia was sentenced for a Jan. 22 guilty plea to improperly entering the country. As part of his sentence, he promised to voluntarily leave the United States and never return.
According to court documents, Mr. Mejia entered the country March 1 by wading across the Rio Grande River near McAllen, Texas. He made his way to Buffalo and contacted Said Flores, a Honduran man who was living legally in Massachusetts, and asked him to give him a ride to Mooers, Clinton County, so that Mr. Mejia could walk across the border from the U.S. into Canada. Mr. Flores allegedly flew to Buffalo, borrowed a friends Honda Accord and started the trip after Mr. Mejia agreed to give him $200 for gas and food.
The pair were using a GPS unit to direct their travel but failed to realize the route presented took them into Canada. Before they realized what had happened, they arrived at the port of entry at Alexandria Bay and were questioned by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. Mr. Mejia was charged with being in the country illegally, and Mr. Flores was charged with using a car to transport an illegal alien within the United States.
The charge against Mr. Flores was dismissed in September by Judge David E. Peebles after prosecutors informed the court that further prosecution is not in the best interest of the United States at this time, according to the dismissal order.