Colorado man's attempt to smuggle his fiance into Canada was 'an act of love'
Ryan White, CTV Calgary
Published Friday, June 20, 2014 3:06PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, June 20, 2014 7:11PM MDT
A 47-year-old resident of the Philippines who attempted to return to Canada hidden in a modified slip tank in a pickup truck will spend time behind bars before deportation.
On June 17, a Colorado man attempted to enter Canada at the Carway port of entry in southern Alberta when officials became suspicious of anomalies with the external fuel tank on the man’s truck. Border agents examined the tank and discovered a woman hidden inside.
The stowaway, Mercie Maslog Lumacad of the Philippines, and the pickup truck driver, 63-year-old Richard James Watt of Collbran, Colorado were arrested and charged by the CBSA Criminal Investigations Unit.
Lumacad faced one charge of failing to report for examination and Watt, who is engaged to Lumacad, was charged with aiding and abetting Lumacad’s failure to report for examination.
On Friday afternoon, in Lethbridge Provincial Court, Lumacad and Watt plead guilty to their respective charges. The pair was sentenced to 16 days in jail and each offender was fined $8,000. With consideration for time served since their arrest on Tuesday, Lumacad and Watt have 10 days remaining in their sentences.
Following her release, Lumacad will be deported from Canada and will not be allowed to return. Lumacad has a sister who resides in Prince George, B.C.
The resident of the Philippines was permitted to be in Canada on a visitor’s visa but left Canada in February to spend time with Watt in Colorado. Lumacad was successfully smuggled into the United States.
Lumacad and Watt have been in a relationship for several years but have been unable to wed as her attempts to divorce her previous husband, who resides in the Philippines, have been unsuccessful.
During Friday's court proceedings, Lumacad said she was attempting to return to Canada for a scheduled medical appointment.
Richard Watt's daughter, who lives in Montana, told CTV her father's attempt to smuggle Lumacad was an act of love.
Neither Lumacad or Watt have criminal histories.