ST PAUL, Minn. — A Florida man arrested for human smuggling after the bodies of four people were found near the Canada and U.S. border during a blizzard has been released from jail without having to pay bond.
Steve Shand is charged with transport or attempted transport of undocumented immigrants, after the four bodies were discovered in Canada and seven Indian nationals were found in the U.S. He is not charged in the deaths.
Federal Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer of Minnesota didn't order bond Monday, but said Shand must obey several release conditions. Shand had to surrender his passport. He is only allowed to travel to Florida and Minnesota, where court proceedings will take place.
Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba told KARE 11 in a phone interview that a man, woman, teenage boy and infant were found on Jan. 19 east of Emerson, Manitoba, on the Canadian side of the border where North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota converge.
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.
According to the complaint and a news release from U.S. Border Patrol, agents arrested Shand on the American side of the border on Wednesday 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.
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