The United States Border Patrol says a convicted Canadian sex offender drove through a barbed wire fence to cross the international border with two children and their mother.
The border patrol said agents found a cut fence near the Turner Port of Entry between Saskatchewan and Montana, then notified RCMP.
Saskatchewan RCMP issued an Amber Alert on Monday for the seven-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy.
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Mounties expressed concern that the children were with Benjamin Martin Moore, 50, who has a history of sexual offenses against children and was previously convicted of sexual interference with a minor.
An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for Moore for failing to report information within seven days of changing his address, which is required for convicted sex offenders. Later that day, the Amber Alert was extended into South Dakota.
Moore was located late Tuesday at a campground that takes part in the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the state. Glencoe Camp Resort posted on social media that its security team assisted in locating and apprehending Moore.
The children, as well as their mother, were with Moore.
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Brian Lester said he and his wife stay in the Glencoe campground every year when they attend the rally. He said they were surprised to see children there on Sunday because they thought it was an adults-only campground.
“I was kind of appalled,” Lester said from Sioux Falls, SD “I was shocked that a parent would think it’s OK to bring a kid to the rally, especially this campground.”
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Lester said the children and adults didn’t have a tent and were sleeping in their car.
He reported their presence to campground authorities and was told there were no age restrictions.
Lester said he also brought up the issue with a security guard in the campground later Sunday. That’s when a man, whom Lester said he later recognized as Moore, came up and told him that he was with the children.
“He says, ‘We’re down from Canada. I’m working security the week of the rally,” Lester said.
The children didn’t seem distraught, Lester said, and he saw no abuse taking place.
Lester said he and his wife learned of the Amber Alert Wednesday morning and their hearts sank when they recognized the children and Moore. They immediately called authorities and were told the children had been found.
“We were relieved but we still had a pit in our stomach that we didn’t follow through more — didn’t follow our gut,” he said.
Amber Alert canceled after 2 Saskatchewan children found in South Dakota
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed that Moore, as well as the mother, remain in custody in Pennington County.
RCMP said it is working with US authorities to co-ordinate Moore’s return to Canada, but no date has been confirmed. No additional charges have been laid but the investigation is ongoing, Mounties said.
The mother has not been charged in Canada, RCMP added.
Mounties said at a news conference Tuesday that Moore was being investigated by social services when he left with the children and their mother.
Officers went last week to their home in Eastend, Sask., to question Moore, but found it abandoned.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 11, 2022.
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