MINNEAPOLIS — A Florida man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of human smuggling after the bodies of four people were found near the Canada and U.S. border during a blizzard last month.
Acting United States Attorney Charles J. Kovats announced the indictment of Steve Shand in a press release Thursday, Feb. 17.
Shand was charged with transport or attempted transport of undocumented immigrants last month, after the four bodies were discovered in Canada and seven Indian nationals were found in the U.S. He was not charged in the deaths.
According to the complaint and a news release from U.S. Border Patrol, agents arrested Shand on the American side of the border on Jan. 19, 2022 on Highway 75 in Humboldt, Minnesota, and he was found to have two Indian nationals in a white, 15-passenger van that Shand rented from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Five other natives of India were then found walking in the same area where authorities arrested Shand, and the Border Patrol sector in Grand Forks, N.D. said agents called for immediate medical aid due to signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
The four people, believed to be part of the same family, appear to have died from exposure to the dangerously cold weather and had come within about 30 feet of the U.S. border. The wind chill was around -40 degrees Celsius, MacLatchy said, which is so cold that it’s the equivalent temperature to Fahrenheit.