U.S. Border Patrol agents slapped a $5,000 fine on an American citizen this week for slipping into the United States from Canada on a mountain bike, the agency announced Wednesday.
The 40-year-old American and his 44-year-old Canadian companion were nabbed Sunday near Houlton, Maine, after allegedly biking across the border south of Notre Dame, Canada, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
A Border Patrol agent spotted the two men at about 2:30 p.m. with mountain bikes on a dirt road near the border. After questioning the suspects, the agent arrested them for illegally crossing the border.
Each was fined $5,000, said CBP.
If the same penalty was applied to American’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrations, the federal government could collect $55 billion.
“While interdictions are always handled on a case by case basis, in this particular incident, both men deliberately entered the U.S. without lawful inspection and as such, each subject was assessed a $5,000 civil penalty. … Since this is an administrative fine, the individuals do not have to go through a judicial process and will have approximately 30 days to pay the fine,” the agency said in a statement.
The mountain bikes were returned to the men. The U.S. citizen was released on his own recognizance and the Canadian citizen, who was a Lebanese national, was returned to Canada, said CBP.