A registered sex offender from Texas is in custody in Canada after slipping through a well-known illegal border crossing in Quebec.
Adesanya Prince pleaded guilty to child pornography charges Feb. 23 in Houston. He was out on bond awaiting sentencing on May 10, but instead fled to Canada.
The 49-year-old was arrested by RCMP officers last month after crossing into Quebec from New York State.
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Prince is originally from Nigeria and U.S. authorities believe he may have been trying to be deported home to avoid prison.
According to the Canadian government, 70 to 80 people per day are crossing at Roxham Road. In recent months, more than half of them have been from Nigeria.
Roxham Road has become an unofficial border crossing over the last year. It’s staffed around the clock by RCMP officers. Over the last year, about 25,000 people have walked across the border at Roxham Road, taking advantage of a loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement.
Asylum seekers who try to enter from the U.S. at official border crossings are supposed to be turned away. However, under the loophole, people who cross illegally and make the request in Canada can have their refugee application considered.
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Prince was detained by RCMP officers as soon as he set foot in Canada. His criminal history was found during a security screening.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says Prince’s arrest shows the meticulous nature of the background security checks done by RCMP and CBSA on Roxham Road asylum seekers.
“Trying to hop across the border without following the rules is no free ticket to Canada,” Goodale said Thursday. “There are immediate consequences, and when it’s a consequence of that kind, you’re inadmissible. You’re out of here.”
According to court documents, Prince sent a co-worker three videos from his cellphone in January of last year. Two of the videos involved graphic acts of beastiality involving dogs. The third video showed the sexual assault of a child.
When he was questioned by Houston police officers, Prince admitted sending the videos. He said he’d been sent them from a friend, kept them on his phone for about a month, and then forwarded them to his co-worker.
Prince was arrested and charged with possession with intent to promote child pornography on May 15, 2017.
He pleaded guilty on Feb. 23 and was released pending sentencing. On that day, Prince also signed documents that put him on the sex offender registry. He wasn’t allowed to leave Houston while awaiting sentencing.
Prince is being held at an immigration detention facility in Laval, Que. U.S. officials have filed a request for a provisional arrest.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson, lawyers in the U.S. are finalizing extradition paperwork. They hope to make the request official in the coming days.
“We will need to examine the legal channels that need to be followed,” says Goodale.
“The legal work is being done with respect to that question. But the point is (asylum seekers) should not expect to circumvent the consequences of their previous illegal behaviour. We would want to make sure that the appropriate consequences flow.”
A date for an extradition hearing has been set for May 18 in Montreal.