Florida [US], May 28 (ANI): A Florida-based man has pleaded not guilty to the human-trafficking charges linked to the last year's case of a family of four migrants from India found frozen to death near the Canada-US border, CBC reported.
In a hearing for his arraignment, the accused Steve Shand, 48, via videoconference faced one count each of bringing people into the US illegally and of transporting them inside the country.
In January 2022, Shand was arrested in a remote area of northern Minnesota, where border agents encountered him with two Indian nationals in a rented passenger van.
Just over the border, near Emerson, Man., RCMP officers discovered the bodies of four people authorities believe froze to death while trying to slip into the US undetected, according to CBC.
Canadian authorities found the bodies of a couple and their two children metres from the United States border on Jan. 19, 2022.
Jagdish Patel, 39, his wife, Vaishaliben, 37, their daughter, Vihangi, 11, and son, Dharmik, 3, were found frozen to death near Emerson, Man.
Investigators have said they believe the deaths were linked to a human smuggling operation, reported CBC. (ANI)