Well, the subject matter is more of an attention-getter. The devil's in
the details. But the little town of Pohénémagook was there before the
border was drawn, giving rise to all kinds of crazy situations. There is
a gas station whose pumps are on the US side, but the only access is
from Canada. Locals had been exempt from reporting to a US border post a
kilometre down another road (a policy put in writing over a decade ago,
in fact), a road that doesn't even show up in my atlas as it's only a
logging road. But INS personnel were hiding in an SUV in the bushes
alongside the driveway to the gas station, the border post had closed at
12:00 noon, a few hours before Po resident Michel Jalbert decided to
tank up. He was nabbed by the guys in the bushes, who searched his car
(INS does not need a warrant -- you have no rights at a border crossing
[that goes for most border crossings, not just coming into the US] and
their word is law, in effect) and they found a hunting rifle in his
trunk (locals are hunters and this was common -- Jalbert probably had
even registered the gun, as I've registered mine, with the federal dept.
of Justice's firearms centre), but a computer search also turned up a
criminal record from 12 years ago when Jalbert was a teenager. He had
been convicted of vandalism but had a clean record ever since, and a
young family. He's now languishing in a Bangor jail, unlikely to get
bail, and unable to speak a word of English. A tragic unintended
consequence of the "war on terrorism", perhaps:
Fortunately, it's just been reported that, to the DA's surprise (illegal
aliens are rarely granted bail), Jalbert was granted bail this morning
and is free to go to Po to await his trial in Bangor in the new year.
http://cbc.ca/stories/2002/11/14/jalbert_michel021113 but the State is
appealing the decision.
Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland
“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he
will pick himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill
Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the
author solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the
author’s employer, nor those of any organization with which the author
may be associated.
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