A Six Nations man remains in jail in Buffalo after being granted bail last week.
Trevor Miller, 32, has been in custody for a month after his sudden arrest at a Canada-U.S. border, where he was charged in connection with a Caledonia incident that he’s already been convicted of in Ontario.
Miller’s lawyer arranged for bail on a $10,000 bond, which has not yet been posted, and made an oral motion for the charges to be dropped.
Instead, the case will move forward and a judge will hear written motions.
“This is an extremely interesting case,” said Tim Hoover, assistant federal public defender in New York.
“Given the incident happened in Canada, the filing of charges here raises issues both of the sovereignty of Canada and of the Six Nations.” (edit: Six Nations is not sovereign so what’s the issue?)
Hoover said those issues are beyond the scope of what can be dealt with in court but hopes Canada and the U.S. will discuss the case at some point.
“The number of occurrences (outside U.S. borders) that can be prosecuted by the U.S. are very limited.”
Miller pleaded guilty last May in an incident where law officers in Caledonia were stopped by protesters and forced out of their vehicle. He spent six months in jail and was later sentenced to time served.
But Miller was arrested by American police after he tried to cross the Canada-U.S. border in Minnesota a month ago.
Experts say its rare for someone to be charged by two countries based on the same incidents, and the former head of the Canadian Bar Association said it was inappropriate of the U.S. to pursue charges. Meanwhile, Albert Douglas, 32, also of Six Nations, is named in the same warrant and is fearful of being arrested.
He has not tried to cross the border since Miller’s arrest, despite having numerous family members in the U.S.
His father, Arnold Douglas, went to Miller’s first court appearance in Buffalo last week
“But Albert didn’t go. We’re not going to risk that. If Trevor hadn’t been picked up on these charges we wouldn’t have known (there were charges against Albert),” Douglas said.
His son and Miller were forced to commit perjury in order to gain their release from jail, according to Douglas.
“There’s no way they felt they were guilty,” said Douglas, “but they had to plead guilty in order to get out.”
Once Miller posts his bail, he will not be required to remain in the country until the next hearing date.
“Trevor has made a new life for himself since resolving the charges in Canada,” said his lawyer, “and he’s focused on being a productive person.”
The case will resume during a conference for all parties in June