BANGOR, Maine — A Quebec man who was arrested last week after allegedly attempting to smuggle his wife into the country made his initial court appearance Monday at U.S. District Court in Bangor.
Pierre Poulin, 40, of St. Martin, Quebec, is charged with encouraging and inducing illegal entry into the U.S., a federal offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He is being held at Somerset County Jail
During his appearance, Poulin waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was advised that he does not qualify for a court-appointed attorney.
The incident that led to Poulin’s arrest occurred on July 17, when Poulin arrived at the international border crossing at Jackman, according to court documents. Poulin told a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent that he was heading for Logan International Airport in Boston for a flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
During the initial inspection, Poulin appeared to be traveling alone, however, the agent noticed that he had luggage that appeared to belong to a female in the back of his SUV.
During a secondary inspection, authorities found a valid Brazilian passport and a lawful permanent Canadian resident card belonging to a woman named Karoline Ramos de Oliveira, as well as several articles of women’s clothing, a purse, a two-way radio and a cellphone that showed a map of the local area.
Border police officers based in Jackman were advised of inconsistencies and targeted the Arnold Farm area, where they intercepted a woman fitting Oliveira’s description, according to an affidavit prepared by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection supervisory officer.
When officers caught up with the woman, she had a two-way radio of the same make and model as the one found in Poulin’s possession. Oliveira was sent back to Canada.
In a sworn statement, Poulin said he planned to fly to Florida for a two-week vacation at an apartment he rented in Davies, Florida.
He claimed to be retired and sick but added he owned a trucking company.
“He was asked several times if he had anyone traveling with him and if he had plans to pick up anyone down the road. After persistently denying any involvement in assisting anyone with entry without inspection, he later admitted he was traveling with his wife and they were married in Brazil two years ago,” the affidavit said.
Poulin reportedly admitted his wife had been denied a non-immigrant visitors visa by the U.S. Department of State and that she had previously been removed on a voluntary removal. Poulin then allegedly confessed that he intended to pick her up in the Arnold Farm area.
He also reportedly admitted he had helped his wife enter the U.S. in June of this year.