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Three men charged after allegedly crossing border illegally

| February 3, 2021 1:00 AM

Three men who allegedly crossed the border illegally into the United States near Eureka and then were involved in a high-speed chase that ended near Whitefish made their initial appearance Thursday in U.S. District Court in Missoula.

Christoper White, 41, of Jamaica is accused of being an alien in the United States after deportation, Rastesfaye Alpha Neil, 39, of Washington, D.C. is accused of transporting certain aliens and Afrah Ahmed Abdi, 32, of Virginia is accused of improper entry by alien.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston presided in the case and all three men were detained pending further proceedings, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to criminal complaints, on Jan. 23 the Spokane Sector Border Patrol Dispatch received information that three people dressed in camouflage and dark clothing while carrying backpacks were crossing the border from Canada into the U.S. near the area of West Kootenai.

Border Patrol agents found a Nissan Sentra on the West Kootenai road and attempted to stop the vehicle, but when the Nissan pulled to the side of the road and agents approached on foot, the vehicle sped away on U.S. Highway 93.

Law enforcement deployed a vehicle immobilization device and it came to a stop down a small embankment off the highway near Whitefish, and the occupants of the vehicle were arrested.

The incident was investigated by the Border Patrol, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

The U.S.-Canada border has been closed since March in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.