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Investigators skeptical of boat hijacking story

Posted at 6:50 PM, Dec 12, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-07 18:47:25-05

As international law enforcement agencies search for two men who allegedly hijacked a boat from Canada into the U.S. investigators are now skeptical of the boat operator's version of events.

Did two men hijack a boat from a marina in Queenston, Ontario and escaped into the U.S? Or is there more to the story?

"When I first heard the story, I had a problem with it.  Something didn't ring quite true," said Steven MacMartin, who heads the Homeland Security program at Medaille College.

That story was told by a 17-year-old boy from Canada.

He says he and his father were at the marina Tuesday afternoon and approached by three men who asked them to take them fishing on the Niagara River.

"It wasn't a chartered fishing boat or anything like that," said Matthew Bitterman, the Public Information Officer for the U.S. Border Patrol.

The son told authorities he took two of the men out on the water alone.  The third man didn't board the boat and neither did the boy's father.

"We're looking at every possible angle of why he may not have gone on the boat.  Why the son went alone," said Bitterman.

The teenager says the two men later pulled a knife on him and ordered him to take them to the U.S. Shore and the men escaped and the teen says he last saw them on Lake Road in Youngstown.

In the past 14 months U.S. Border Patrol agents have arrested 741 people from Canada who were in the U.S. illegally, 37 of those arrests were made while the person was actually attempting to enter the U.S. from Canada illegally.

Customs agents are still looking for the two and his father and investigators are still looking into the father and son's story but if it turns out they are in on this they could face federal smuggling charges.