Canadian driver arrested at border with Brazilian woman in trunk, court documents say

Posted Jan. 10, 2011, at 6:49 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 7:17 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Two women were arrested Saturday at the Madawaska border crossing when a Brazilian woman reportedly was discovered in the trunk of a Canadian citizen’s car.

Lynne Boutot, 43, of Saint Basil, New Brunswick, was charged with bringing an alien into the United States.

Daniela Cristine Tonel-Alves, 28, of Ipathinga, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and Framingham, Mass., was charged with avoidance of examination and inspection.

Both made their first appearances Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor. U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk ordered them to be detained temporarily.

Detention hearings are expected to be held before the end of the week. Because neither woman is a U.S. citizen, it would be unusual for them to be granted bail.

Tonel-Alves moved to the United States from Brazil with her parents when she was 8 years old, according to court documents. She grew up in Framingham, Mass., and graduated from the high school there in 2000.

She is married to a Brazilian citizen and has two children, ages 4 and 8, who are U.S. citizens, according to court documents. Tonel-Alves has no documentation that would allow her to stay in the United States.

The woman last year applied for a change in her immigration status, which was denied. A pending appeal is scheduled to be heard March 11 in Immigration Court in Boston. Court documents do not state when Tonel-Alves returned to Brazil, but she arrived in Canada from Brazil around Christmas.

Boutot was introduced by her brother, who has not been charged in the United States, to the Brazilian woman around Christmas, according to court documents. Boutot allegedly told border patrol officers Saturday that she originally refused to transport Tonel-Alves across the border. Last week, according to court documents, Boutot changed her mind when offered $1,500 to bring the woman to the United States.

The two women left Boutot’s home about 11:45 a.m. Saturday, according to court documents. They stopped five or 10 minutes from the border crossing so Tonel-Alves could climb into the trunk. Boutot’s car passed through the Madawaska Port of Entry shortly after noon.

Boutot told officers that she was crossing the border to buy gasoline. Boutot was referred for a secondary inspection and when the trunk was opened, Tonel-Alves was discovered inside. After being interviewed, the two were arrested, according to court documents.

If convicted, Boutot faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. She also could be barred from re-entering the United States.

Tonel-Alves, if convicted, faces up to six months in prison. In addition, she could be deported to Brazil and forbidden from re-entering the country.

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