Dillon Morello, WIVB, February 8, 2024
Residents along the Niagara River and Lake Ontario are calling on officials to take action after they say they’ve seen an increase sighting of suspicious vehicles, and trespassing in their backyards.
Since this past November, U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Niagara Falls Station along with state and local law enforcement have arrested numerous individuals from over 20 incidents of illegal Niagara River crossings.
On Thursday, those agencies provided an update on what’s being done to solve the problem.
“We have always had rafts and people crossing the river. We’ve always had drugs crossing the river. Now, what has changed between now and then? Why are we having this discussion? It’s the frequency,” said Niagara Falls Border Patrol Agent-in-Charge Brady Waikel.
“Most of the people that we’re catching do have a status in Canada. Smuggling is illegal in Canada, but being someone from Colombia or Mexico that came in on a visitor’s visa into Canada, getting on a raft in the lower Niagara River is not against the law in Canada,” continued Waikel.