BANGOR, Maine — A native of Cameroon who has asylum in the U.S. was released Friday after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting the entry of an illegal alien, a federal misdemeanor.
Evaristus Sama Nyambi, 33, of Laurel, Md., had been arrested Dec. 8 and charged with a similar crime.
Nyambi pleaded guilty to the more serious charge and was sentenced to six days in jail, or time served, by U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk. In addition to jail time, Kravchuk ordered Nyambi to pay a $750 fine, according to information posted on the court’s electronic case filing system.
The lesser charge was dismissed Monday.
Nyambi arrived at the Houlton border crossing about 4:09 p.m. Dec. 8 and told officers that he was returning to Maryland after visiting a friend in Halifax, Nova Scotia, according to the prosecution’s version of events to which Nyambi pleaded guilty.
Officers found three large suitcases filled with women’s clothing, shoes and purses in the car, according to court documents. Nyambi told officers he was going to mail the clothing and other items to family members in Africa.
A large amount of paperwork was found under the driver’s side floor mat, the prosecution version said. It included a Cameroon birth certificate, Canadian student visas, copies of a Cameroon passport and other documents belonging to a woman, who was not traveling with Nyambi.
Nyambi confessed that the woman was his girlfriend. and he had visited her previously in Canada, according to court documents. She decided to return to Maryland with him but crossed the border with a friend of Nyambi’s because the friend was a U.S. citizen.
Officers contacted Nyambi’s friend on Nyambi’s cellphone. The friend said that he and Nyambi’s girlfriend were in Massachusetts but were willing to meet investigators in Kittery. A short time later, the friend called an agent and said that while he was getting gas, the woman got into a taxi, and he did not know where she went, according to the court documents.
Information about what impact the conviction might have on Nyambi’s asylum status was not available late Monday.