Judge sends Canadian to US prison for risky tunnel scheme

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

Juan Garcia-Jimenez wept and apologized Monday in federal court in Detroit. Besides prison, he was fined $8,680, 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 1.6-mile (2.5-kilometer) tunnel is used by cargo trains moving between Ontario, Canada, and the U.S. Prosecutor Susan Fairchild says it's extremely risky: The walkway in the tunnel is only 17 inches (43.1 centimeters) wide.

Garcia-Jimenez is a 53-year-old Canadian citizen and native of Guatemala. He would drop people off at the tunnel entrance, then drive away.