Border patrol: Human smuggler knew passengers couldn’t swim

AKWESASNE, N.Y. (AP) – Federal authorities say a boat operator knew his passengers could not swim when he abandoned six Indian nationals on a sinking boat during a failed smuggling attempt across the frigid St. Lawrence River into northern New York.

U.S. citizen Brian Lazore was ordered held without bail last week on smuggling charges.

His defense attorney, Gabrielle DiBella, told The Associated Press that Lazore is “presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.” Authorities spotted the boat April 28 after it left a hotel in Cornwall, Ontario.

Lazore and the six passengers were treated for hypothermia and then arrested.