Human smuggling is a serious crime, and one which people who live adjacent to international borders should be aware of. If you have property in such a location, there's a chance that human smugglers are traversing your land with their cargo. Being unaware of this situation won't land you in any trouble, but if a smuggler were to be arrested and dishonestly state that you were providing your land for this purpose, a serious investigation could follow and potential charges may result. Here are some steps that you can take when you see signs of human smuggling on your land.
Alert Law Enforcement
One of the best things that you can do in your situation is to alert law enforcement to what you suspect is occurring on your land. Having a police report shows that you're not involved in this operation — after all, no one would call the police to alert them to something that he or she is doing illegally. In the event of a smuggler eventually getting caught and lying to the authorities, which results in an investigation of you, you can reference this police report to show that you had indeed tried to stop the smuggling, rather than be complicit in it.
Put Up Deterrents
It's in your best interest to use deterrent measures to hopefully keep human smugglers from crossing through land that you own. There are many different types of deterrents that you can use, including fences, warning signs, and night-vision cameras. Your signs should indicate that trespassing on your property is prohibited and that the property is equipped with video cameras that will capture footage that you'll share with the authorities. Proof of these deterrents can further help your situation if you were ever to be implicated in this action.
Make Repeated Reports
Even after you've initially alerted law enforcement about what you suspect to be human smuggling taking place on your land, you should continue to contact the authorities every time that you find new evidence of this activity. The more contact that you have, the more it will appear as though you're trying to push this illegal activity away — which shows that you aren't involved. Additionally, more reports will mean a higher law enforcement presence in the area, which may be successful in either apprehending some of the human smugglers during sting operations or, at the very least, pushing the smugglers elsewhere. If you end up charged in this situation, contact a criminal defense attorney like those at The Fitzpatrick Law Firm to help you in your case.