2 Georgia men convicted of smuggling illegal immigrants through Canadian border

PEMBINA COUNTY, ND — A Georgia man was sentenced to 18 years in prison after being found guilty of sneaking illegal immigrants through the Canadian border in North Dakota.

According to court documents obtained by Channel 2 Action News, the Pembina County Sheriff’s Office in Pembina, North Dakota, received reports of a motorist assistance call on Nov. 17 at 3:34 a.m.

When deputies arrived, they found 39-year-old Ernesto Falcon Jr. and 38-year-old Rodolfo Arzola-Carrillo, both of Tifton, Georgia, who informed them that their vehicle was stuck in the ditch and that they were walking down the road with their family.

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Deputies noted that Falcon and the eight people he was with were dressed in heavy winter clothing and appeared to be prepared for the weather conditions, leading them to believe they would smuggle someone or something into the United States.

All nine people were taken to the sheriff’s office after asking law enforcement to assist them in getting a hotel for the night.

According to court documents, seven individuals admitted to a Border Patrol agent that they were in the United States illegally. Only Falcon and Arzola-Carrillo admitted to being United States citizens.

Falcon told agents that they had helped the seven illegal immigrants cross into the United States from Canada by entering Canada from the U.S. side of the border and guiding them back through security.


Court documents said that Falcon was approached by Arzola-Carrillo while employed at Arzola Construction in Georgia and asked Falcon about the possibility of “doing some extra work” by assisting in smuggling people, primarily his family members, into the U.S.

According to officials, Falcon and Arzola-Carrillo made four trips in Sept. 2022 and Oct. 2022 before being caught in Nov. 2022 during their fifth trip.

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Falcon added that he got paid $500 to $1,000 per subject he smuggled in.

On Wednesday, Arzola-Carrillo was found guilty of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Falcon will be sentenced in August, according to court documents.


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