House arrest, fine for human smuggler

BA Ponoka man has been sentenced to house arrest and fined for attempting to smuggle two Mexican nationals into Texas.

BA Ponoka man has been sentenced to house arrest and fined for attempting to smuggle two Mexican nationals into Texas.

Robert Lee Williams, 49, received a six-month community-based sentence in Calgary provincial court earlier this week.

He pleaded guilty to the charge under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The sentence will see Williams serve three months under house arrest and the remainder under a curfew.

He was also fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.

Williams admitted to smuggling a Mexican woman and her son into the United States after they arrived in Canada on Dec. 9, 2008, on a flight into Calgary.

The Mexicans claimed they were going to visit relatives in Ponoka, a story that was backed by Williams.

But once they left the airport, they headed south instead of north with the plan of crossing by foot into the U.S. at the seasonally closed Chief Mountain port of entry.

Williams was waiting on the U.S. side to drive them to Dallas but was picked up by American authorities.

Williams said he wanted to reunite the Mexicans with family members in Texas as a favour to a relative down there.

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