16 months in prison for cab driver who smuggled people via Windsor rail tunnel


A Canadian cab driver has been sentenced to 16 months in a U.S. prison for sending immigrants through a risky international tunnel under the Detroit River.


Juan Garcia-Jimenez, 53, wept and apologized Monday in federal court in Detroit, Mich. 

Besides prison, he was fined $8,680, which is the amount of money paid by nine people who were caught last year when they emerged on foot on the Detroit side of a railroad tunnel.

The 2.5-kilometre (1.6-mile) tunnel is used by cargo trains moving between Ontario and Michigan.

The active rail is located between the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge. 0:33

U.S. prosecutor Susan Fairchild said it’s extremely risky — the walkway in the tunnel is only 43.1 centimetres (17 inches) wide.

Garcia-Jimenez would drop people off at the tunnel entrance and then drive away.

In March 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Garcia-Jimenez was allegedly paid $1,500 US by a Mexican worker for help walking through the rail tunnel.

The worker, who was employed by a Leamington farm, was caught by the United States Customs and Border Protection Agents after entering the U.S.