BURLINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — A man living in Chicago was indicted on Thursday on a charge of unlawfully transporting people he knew to have entered the United States illegally. Sebastian Buitrago-Valero, 23, was arraigned on that charge Monday afternoon in the U.S. District Court in Burlington, where he entered a plea of not guilty.
On October 27, 2022, Border Patrol agents were tipped by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that two people had entered the U.S. near Ballard Road, a remote and rural location in the town of Highgate Center, Vermont. A Border Patrol agent responded to the area and saw a blue Hyundai sedan with an out-of-state registration make a stop at the intersection of Ballard and Rollo Road, which is roughly one-half mile South of the international border. The agent allegedly saw two people emerge from a ditch near the intersection and enter the car. The agent stopped the car and identified the driver as Buitrago-Valero.
Law enforcement says Buitrago-Valero was a Colombian citizen who had been arrested after illegally entering the U.S. in November of 2021. Buitrago-Valero was released to the U.S. pending immigration court proceedings. The agent also identified the two passengers as Colombian citizens who entered the U.S. illegally from Canada. Law enforcement later determined they both had been arrested earlier in 2022.