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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

Canadian man sentenced for alien smuggling

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – A Canadian man has been sentenced to one year in federal prison after pleading guilty to alien smuggling. The sentence is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Donald Murray Gallaher, 55, of Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada, pleaded guilty to the charges Jan. 5, 2012, in Syracuse, N.Y. He was sentenced March 20, 2012.

Gallaher was arrested July 22, 2011, after he entered the United States through the U.S. port of entry in Fort Covington, N.Y. Shortly after he entered the United States, his two accomplices, Ross Brian James and John Duder — both Canadian citizens — were detected after they illegally entered the United States.

It was discovered that James was carrying two loaded firearms — registered to Gallaher — at the time of his arrest. Duder pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of entering the United States without inspection, and was sentenced to time served Aug. 2, 2011.

James pleaded guilty to the illegal importation of firearms and was sentenced to one year in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was sentenced Feb. 22, 2012.

"Targeting smugglers is a top priority for Homeland Security Investigations," said Nick DiNicola, assistant special agent in charge of HSI Albany. "As smugglers have shown time and time again, they have no qualms about putting their clients and our New York communities at risk in hopes of turning a profit. This sentence should serve as reminder to smugglers: law enforcement will continue to pursue you from Rouses Point to the Rio Grande Valley."

The investigation was conducted by HSI, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie S. Pfluger, Northern District of New York.