North Dakota Border Investigation Suspect Released Without Bond
(UPDATE TO ORIGINAL STORY)
Truly an incredible revelation Monday in the case of Steve Shand, 57, who has been charged with transport or attempted transport of illegal immigrants. The Associated Press in now reporting...
A Florida man who was arrested for human smuggling after four people were found dead in a blizzard in Canada and seven more immigrants were found alive nearby in the U.S. was released from jail Monday without having to pay a bond.
While it is true that Shand has not been charged in the exposure deaths of four Indian national family members at the US/Canada border, one would think enough circumstantial evidence exists to at least imply he may be complicit in the death of the family. He is now free to surrender his passport and return to Florida while awaiting further hearings. It strikes me that he would be an extreme flight risk
(Here is the original story)
A family of four freezes to death traveling on foot to cross the border into the United States.
Authorities facing blizzard conditions discover four bodies, including a baby and teen, on Wednesday, January 19th near Emerson, Manitoba and just yards away from the United States border. The Associated Press reports the tragedy began to reveal itself following a traffic stop by the U.S. Border Patrol in North Dakota.
It's very fortunate more did not die from exposure.
A Florida man was arrested and charged with human smuggling after officers discovered two undocumented Indian nationals in the 15 passenger van Steve Shand was driving just south of the Canadian border. In addition to the three individuals, the van was also loaded with bottled water and snack food items. It seems the van inhabitants were expecting company. About the same time those three were being taken into custody, five other individuals were spotted by law enforcement walking through the snow in near blizzard conditions. They were also Indian nationals and told authorities they had already been walking toward the border for over 11 hours.
One of these individuals was carrying a backpack containing baby supplies.
They apparently had started their journey much farther north and with another family of four being a part of their group. In the overnight with near blizzard conditions and wind chills in the mid-30s below zero, the family of four became separated from the others and left to trek ahead on their own. They would die just short of the border.
Officers found a man, woman, and baby in one location with the teen's boy discovered not far away. All four were dead most likely from exposure.
I can only hope the charges of murder or manslaughter will soon be added to the charge of human smuggling. Clearly, someone had dropped off these Indian nationals far enough north of the border that it would take them eleven hours, albeit through treacherous conditions, to even reach the border. I assume the plan was then to meet up with Steve Shand and enjoy some much-needed snacks in his 15 person passenger van. I think "plan" is a pretty generous word. Around here, January can easily kill you no matter how well you dress for the weather.