Quebec man sought by U.S. after pregnant Mexican migrant dies crossing border

A 71-year-old man who had been missing for two days, was found Saturday morning by a family friend, after driving his vehicle off a 60 foot embankment near Hartell, Alta. Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

New York authorities are seeking the extradition of a Colombian man living in Quebec who has been charged with smuggling in connection with a migrant woman who died trying to cross illegally into the United States from Canada in December.

The attorney’s office for the Northern District of New York has charged Jhader Augusto Uribe-Tobar, 35, with three smuggling-related counts in relation to the death of Ana Karen Vasquez-Flores.

The body of Vasquez-Flores, 33, who was pregnant, was found in the Great Chazy River near Champlain, N.Y., on Dec. 14, two days after her husband alerted a border patrol agent that she had not emerged from the woods.

U.S. authorities allege that Uribe-Tobar advertised his services on TikTok under a pseudonym and charged the woman and her husband US$2,500 to guide her by text message as she walked alone across the border.

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Court documents filed by New York officials in Quebec Superior Court allege that her husband, Miguel Mojarro-Magna, had contacted the TikTok account and was told the journey to the U.S., which included crossing the waterway, could take up to three hours.

Vasquez-Flores would be directed across the border with her cellphone: “We do not use a guide, friend, we work in another way,” the husband was allegedly told during the exchange of messages on the social media platform.

Click to play video: 'Feds announce $12M for local police following migrant deaths in Akwesasne, Que.'
Feds announce $12M for local police following migrant deaths in Akwesasne, Que.

In response to the extradition request, the RCMP arrested Uribe-Tobar at his home in St-Hyacinthe, Que., late last month. The accused appeared at the Montreal courthouse on Dec. 28 and is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 12. The RCMP referred all questions on the case to U.S. authorities.

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The court filing says Uribe-Tobar was stopped by the RCMP in September near the U.S. border with four Mexican nationals but was released. The four Mexicans were arrested after crossing the border the following day.

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U.S. authorities have noted an uptick in people crossing illegally from Canada, particularly Mexican nationals who believe it is an easier way into the country than passing through the Mexico-U.S. border.

The week in mid-December that U.S. border patrol agents found Vasquez-Flores’s body they also rescued two other people in the woods who had crossed into the country from Canada.

Most migrants who attempt to make the journey on foot are not prepared for the cold, police say. Last year, several migrants died trying to reach the U.S.

“You can’t go through north country woods in tennis shoes and expect to be OK,” Maj. Nicholas Leon of the Clinton County, N.Y., sheriff’s office said in an interview Friday.

In January 2023, Fritznel Richard, 44, a Haitian man, was found frozen to death in a wooded area near St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., where police said he was trying to cross into the United States. He likely died of hypothermia, and friends said he had been unable to get a work permit in Canada and wanted to reunite with his wife in the U.S.

In late February, Jose Leos Cervantes, 45, originally from Aguascalientes, Mexico, collapsed and died shortly after crossing the border into the United States from Quebec on foot.

Akwesasne Mohawk Police are still investigating the March drownings of eight people, including two children under the age of three, whose bodies were pulled from the St. Lawrence River. The migrants — an Indian family of four and a Romanian family of four — were trying to enter the United States illegally from Canada.


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