June 16, 2013 5:30 pm
Updated: June 16, 2013 6:56 pm

Homeland Security investigating incident at Canada-US border that sent six agents to the hospital


TORONTO – Homeland Security is investigating an incident that took place at the Champlain border crossing Saturday morning that sent six U.S. border patrol agents to the hospital after coming in contact with an unknown substance.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a 2002 BMW sedan was stopped at the Port of Champlain border crossing in New York at approximately 6 a.m.

Supervisory CBP Officer Richard Misztal confirmed the car was exiting Canada from the Lacolle, Que. border crossing when the vehicle was flagged for a secondary inspection.

Story continues below

He could not confirm the driver’s citizenship.

Two border agents fell ill during the inspection, Misztal said.

“Two of them were vomiting,” he said.

The local county EMS Hazmat team arrived on scene and decontaminated the two affected officers, as well as four other officers as a precautionary measure.

All six were taken to hospital and have since been released.

According to reports by New York’s WPTZ News, one man has been placed into custody, although no charges have been filed.

A member of the Clinton County Hazmat quoted by the news outlet says they don’t believe the man was intentionally trying to harm anyone, and were also told by emergency responders that the public was never at risk.

When contacted by Global News Saturday night, CBP would not comment on the status on the driver of the vehicle, other than to say the case was being handled by New York State Police and Federal Protective Services — a department of Homeland Security.

But, in a conflicting statement, an officer from the Plattsburgh division of the New York State Police said Saturday night that U.S. Customs had refused assistance from New York State Police.

Reading from a police report filed earlier in the day, the officer said a suspect had been pulled over at the border crossing for a suspected drug violation.

Marijuana was reportedly found in his vehicle, the statement read.

In addition to corroborating previous details from CBP, the report also stated neither the suspect nor the marijuana could be removed from custody due to contamination from an unknown substance.

The officer refused to provide his name for this story.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.