BANGOR — One U.S. citizen and four Mexican nationals were arrested near the Canadian border in Maine in what border officials called a “human smuggling attempt.”

The five men were arraigned in Bangor on Thursday, according to court documents. Two of the men were charged with bringing immigrants into the U.S. illegally and harboring them, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The other three told agents that they had traveled illegally from Mexico to Canada to gain entry to the United States, according to court documents. One of them was charged with entry after removal and the other two were charged with improper entry by an alien.

Border Patrol agents saw a vehicle with two people in it on Dec. 23 in an area near Limestone that is often used as an illegal crossing between Canada and the U.S., according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The agents stopped the vehicle after they saw it leave the area with five people.

Investigators determined that four of the occupants were in the U.S. illegally, three of whom crossed the border illegally near Limestone.

Logan Perkins, an attorney for one of the men, said her client crossed the border simply to provide for his family in Mexico. Attorneys for the other four didn’t immediately return messages.

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