American man found in trunk leads to two arrests at Canadian border crossing

Prescott, Ontario – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) today announced the arrest of two people involved in an attempted human smuggling case from the United States to Prescott, Ontario.

On April 10, 2017, Ashleigh Tinston, 20-years-old, from Herndon, Virginia, appeared to be travelling alone when she arrived at the Prescott port of entry. Due to several indicators during primary inspection, Ms. Tinston was referred for a secondary examination. During the exam, border services officers noticed that the trunk of the vehicle would not open and that one of the back seats was folded down. A closer inspection revealed that 21-year-old Ian Mullen, from Frederick, Maryland, was hiding in the trunk. It was later revealed that Mr. Mullen had a trial date set for May in the U.S., and they were coming to Canada to avoid prosecution.

Both individuals were placed under arrest. Ms. Tinston was charged with failure to present a passenger under section 11(3) of the Customs Act, failure to answer truthfully and aiding and abetting under section 16(1) and section 131 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Mr. Mullen was charged with failing to present himself upon arrival under section 11(1) of the Customs Act and failure to present for examination under section 18(1) of the IRPA.

Both appeared in court on April 21, 2017. Ms. Tinston plead guilty to section 131 of IRPA for aiding and abetting and was sentenced to time served. Mr. Mullen plead guilty to section 124 (1)(a) for failing to present himself as required under section 18(1) of IRPA and received a sentence of 30 days. The vehicle was also seized and will be returned upon payment of a minimum penalty of $5,000 CAD.

“This example sends an important message to anyone considering participating in the illegal movement of people across our shared border. All persons seeking entry to Canada must present themselves to the CBSA.” – Leanne Sullivan, Chief of Operations, Prescott port of entry

Canada Border Services Agency


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