U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced that Jose Rodrigo Silva-Oliveira, 43, a Brazilian citizen living in New Jersey, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with transporting aliens for financial gain or commercial advantage. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years, and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles M. Kruly, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on April 28, 2019, at approximately 10:05 a.m., U.S. Border Patrol received information from the Erie County Sherriff’s Department that several subjects had possibly entered the United States illegally from Canada. The information came from a nearby resident who observed a vessel in the upper
Niagara River dropping off four or more subjects on the shoreline near West River Road on Grand Island. The subjects were then observed being picked up by a dark colored sedan and headed eastbound on Staley Road. The vehicle was subsequently pulled over by law
enforcement officers. The defendant was identified as the driver of the vehicle, and the passengers were identified as Marie Aparecida, Maxwell De Castro, and Andre Luiz Felix Ferreira Cunha. A fourth passenger, later identified as Alexandro Lourenco Da Silva, fled
the scene but was quickly apprehended by Border Patrol Agents on Love Road.
It was determined that the four passengers had illegally entered the United States from Canada, and Silva-Oliveira had picked up all four aliens and was transporting them within the United States. All five subjects were placed under arrest.
“As efforts are made to increase security at our southwest border, it is hardly surprising that those who seek to profit by violating the law might explore new frontiers in which to perpetrate their crimes,” noted U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “The well-being of a free society is dependent the allegiance of its members to the rule of law. Hopefully, this arrest will help to send a message to those who demonstrate a willingness to disregard the rule of law in favor of earning a profit. Conduct which is criminal along the southwest border remains criminal when undertaken along the northern border.”
Defendant Silva-Oliveira made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, and was released on conditions. The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by U.S. Border Patrol, under the direction of Patrol Agent in Charge Jeffrey Wilson, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.