UK man deported in 2010 arrested after crossing Detroit River in wetsuit

Posted at 11:26 AM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 11:26:55-05

DETROIT (AP) — A man deported to the United Kingdom from the U.S. nearly a decade ago made a risky return, swimming across the Detroit River from Canada in a wetsuit before he was arrested on the property of a steel factory, authorities said.

Christopher Sagajllo has been charged in Detroit federal court with unlawful re-entry to the United States. He was deported from Chicago in 2010 after overstaying his visa by seven years.

Sagajllo, 56, was arrested on Dec. 13 after being discovered by U.S. Steel Corp. security. He told authorities that he swam across the Detroit River from Ontario, Canada, and landed at night at Zug Island in River Rouge, a community south of Detroit.

“Border Patrol agents returned to Zug Island and were able to retrieve a wetsuit, gloves and several plastic bags left behind at the location described by Sagajllo,” agent Jason Bylow said in a court filing.

A message seeking comment was left with Sagajllo's attorney Tuesday. Sagajllo remains in custody.

The court file doesn't indicate why Sagajllo wanted to return to the U.S. or why he chose to swim. He was advised that he had a right to an attorney.

“Prefer to use the terminology ‘assistance of counsel,’” Sagajllo told U.S. Magistrate Judge David Grand on Dec. 23.