Magistrate Margaret Kravchuk set bail for Michel Jalbert at $5,000 cash with the stipulation that he not return to the United States without permission from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Immigration officials want to deport Jalbert. Those proceedings could delay his return home to the border town of Pohenegamook, Quebec. If he posts bail, he'll go back into custody of the INS pending resolution of his administrative charges, said spokesman Mike Gilhooly.
Jalbert, who was bird hunting, had a shotgun in his truck when he crossed the border on Oct. 11 at the Gazbar gas station in Estcourt Station, where gas is cheaper.
He pleaded innocent Wednesday to charges that he illegally transported a firearm across the border, was in possession of a firearm with a criminal record and hindered inspection of his vehicle.
Jalbert's lawyer, Jon Haddow, said his client's arrest was intended to send a message to Canadians that casual border crossings are no longer being tolerated after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The border is a tricky issue in Estcourt Station, where it cuts right through some homes. That means a resident could have dinner in Canada and then retire to a bedroom in the United States.
Indeed, the driveway of the gas station in question is in Canada and its pumps are in the United States.
Prosecutors decided to press the case because Jalbert, 32, failed to alert authorities before crossing the border, because he had a gun and because he had a criminal record. Jalbert, 32, was fined for breaking windows and possession of stolen property when he was 19."