Judge sends Canadian to US prison for risky tunnel scheme

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Detroit River Railway Tunnel

DETROIT — A Canadian cab driver has been sentenced to 16 months in a U.S. prison for sending desperate immigrants through a risky international tunnel under the Detroit River.

Juan Garcia-Jimenez wept and apologized Monday in federal court in Detroit.

Besides prison, he was fined $8,680, the amount of money paid by nine people who were caught last year when they emerged on foot on the Detroit side of a railroad tunnel.

The 2.5-kilometre tunnel is used by cargo trains moving between Ontario, Canada, and the U.S. Prosecutor Susan Fairchild says it’s extremely risky: The walkway in the tunnel is only 43.1 centimetres wide.

Garcia-Jimenez is a 53-year-old Canadian citizen and native of Guatemala.

He would drop people off at the tunnel entrance, then drive away.

The Associated Press

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