Florida man pleads not guilty for fatal human smuggling near ND border

Published: May. 29, 2023 at 8:02 PM CDT|Updated: May. 30, 2023 at 8:29 AM CDT
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ST. PAUL, M.N. (KFYR) - A Florida man has pleaded not guilty to human smuggling charges after four migrants were found dead last year near the Canadian border.

Federal authorities arrested Steve Shand of Deltona, Florida, in January 2022 after four bodies were found near Emerson, Manitoba, which borders North Dakota and Minnesota.

The federal complaint states the family of four, including an infant and a teenager were Indian nationals. Authorities said they died from exposure in blizzard conditions.

Authorities said five other Indian nationals were found in nearby Minnesota.

Border Patrol said they arrested Shand with two undocumented migrants in his vehicle while he was driving between the ports of entry at Pembina and Lancaster, Minnesota.

Shand is charged with bringing two people into the county illegally and illegally transporting them once in the U.S.

His trial is set for July 17, he has not been charged in the death of the migrants.

Federal authorities say the case is believed to be linked to a larger Canadian border smuggling operation.