The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Juan Mejia-Flores, 31, of Bradenton, Florida, has been indicted by the federal grand jury for the unlawful transportation of individuals who entered the United States illegally. Mejia-Flores is scheduled to be arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle this afternoon.
According to public documents in the case, on June 24, 2022, United States Border Patrol observed four people unlawfully cross the international border near Pelow Street in Derby Line, Vermont, and enter a white sedan. Border Patrol agents responded to the area, and conducted a traffic stop of the white sedan, which was being driven by Mejia-Flores. The other four occupants of the sedan admitted they were Mexican nationals without lawful status in the United States and had unlawfully entered the United States in Derby Line. Investigation by Border Patrol agents determined Mejia-Flores had been involved in a second unlawful crossing event near Burke, New York on May 14, 2022 that involved seven people unlawfully entering the United States from Canada.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office notes that an indictment is an accusation only and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 5 years of imprisonment on the current charge. Any sentence in the case will be advised by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
U.S. Attorney Nikolas Kerest credited the United States Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations for their investigation of Mejia-Flores.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ophardt represents the government. Mejia-Flores is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Steven Barth.