They paid $2,000 US to cross B.C.'s border with Washington state.
And they would have owed a smuggler another $11,500 US once they reached their destination.
Instead, the group of 10 Mexicans — including two children — were caught by U.S. border patrol agents in the back of a white van about five kilometres south of the Canadian border the day after they made their late-night crossing last May.
In a search warrant sworn to obtain phone records, U.S. authorities now allege a Canadian permanent resident is part of a group smuggling Mexican nationals into the U.S. from B.C., and from Alberta into Montana and eventually on to Texas.
The warrant was filed last week in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana.
According to a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the document would normally have been sealed, as the investigation is ongoing, but appears to have been made public in error.
Regardless, the document names several people — including a resident of Canada and a visitor to Canada — who are suspected in four separate illegal border crossings involving more than two dozen migrants.