An elaborate and dangerous plot to sneak into the United States through the wilds of northern Minnesota has earned a Canadian sex offender and his two alleged accomplices a stay in jail.
Walter D. Duncan, 53, an Ontario, Canada, resident described as an "international drug dealer" with a sexual assault conviction, is charged with swimming across a river on the U.S.-Canadian border near Grand Portage in a conspiracy to enter the country illegally, the Star Tribune reports.
According to the paper, the federal charges say Duncan and an accomplice – whom he'd brought along as protection against bears – crossed the Pigeon River last month and trekked some five miles through the wilderness before being picked up by a third man in a car.
The reason for the risky adventure?
A "business meeting" in Chicago, the Duluth News Tribune reports.
According to WCCO, Duncan later told investigators he'd made the trip "four or five times" in the past. This time, it was an anonymous caller who brought him down.
The station says the agents used the tip to track down the getaway car carrying Duncan and his fellow swimmer, who were "wet" when they were arrested.
Duncan, who is ineligible to enter the U.S. due to his prior criminal record, is facing felony charges of conspiring to bring illegal aliens into the country, while the other two suspects have been charged with misdemeanors, the Duluth News Tribune says.