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GPS mix-up snares alleged undocumented alien at Alexandria Bay

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COLLINS LANDING — A Dominican Republic citizen faces a felony charge of illegally re-entering the United States after he allegedly relied on a global positioning system for a route from New York City to Allentown, Pa., but wound up at the Canadian border.

Roberto D. Burgos, age not available, was charged Wednesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection enforcement officers with re-entry of a deported alien, according to documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, Syracuse.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the court, Mr. Burgos and an unidentified co-traveler were trying to travel between New York City and Allentown following a route prescribed by GPS, but became lost. Upon arriving at the Canadian border at the terminus of Interstate 81, Mr. Burgos made a U-turn before entering Canada and returned to the port of entry here. During a primary inspection by customs officers, Mr. Burgos allegedly claimed to be a U.S. citizen but was unable to provide any documentation to prove the claim.

During a further examination, Mr. Burgos presented a Pennsylvania identification card in the name of Jorge Louis Suarez Arvelo, claiming it was his own identification. He also signed a customs declaration form using the name, according to the complaint.

Mr. Burgos was then fingerprinted, with the prints matching those of a person who has multiple aggravated felony convictions in New York state. The records also showed that the prints returned to Mr. Burgos and that he had been physically removed from the United States in July 2006 and permanently barred from re-entering due to the felony convictions.

Subsequent queries allegedly determined that Mr. Burgos had never applied for or received permission to come back into the United States and had no documentation allowing him to legally be in the country. According to the complaint, Mr. Burgos admitted that he had re-entered the country through Mexico in 2009.

Mr. Burgos was arraigned Thursday in federal court and waived his right to a detention hearing. Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles remanded him to U.S. Marshal Service custody.

According to Google Maps, it’s about 100 miles and takes about an hour and 45 minutes to travel from New York City to Allentown. It’s about 350 miles and about six hours to drive from New York City to Wellesley Island.

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