By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette — Border Patrol agents, in Buffalo and the Falls, have arrested three illegal aliens, in less than 24 hours, as they attempted to cross into the United States from Canada.
The border-crossing efforts started around 4 a.m. Monday. A Border Patrol agent, on routine patrol, noticed a man in dark clothing trying to hide himself as he crossed over the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge.
Agents took the man into custody and a record check showed him to be a citizen of Kosovo, with numerous criminal convictions and an active warrant in Canada. A search of the man also led to agents discovering a small amount of marijuana in his possession.
About six hours later, agents in Buffalo apprehended two citizens of Guatemala after they attempted to hide behind a freight train on the International Railroad Bridge there. Both men had previously lived illegally in the United States.
They said they had planned to travel to Atlanta.
Border Patrol officials said alert field agents and high-tech sensors on the bridges assisted in the capture of the suspects.
Officials called it a "disturbing uptick" in attempts to illegally enter the country here. They noted that once aliens are able to cross the border they can sometimes blend in with the general public, making them harder to find.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they also rely on the assistance of folks living in border communities like the Falls.
Anyone can anonymously report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling 1-800-331-0353.MORE ON THE WEB • Watch video of one of the illegal crossing attempts on the Gazette website -- niagara-gazette.com