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American who came to Siberia 'for better quality of life' faces deportation

By The Siberian Times reporter
31 October 2016

Julio Prieto, 29, from Colorado held by FSB after walking across the border from Kazakhstan.

After being held in detention six weeks pending his court hearing in the Karasuk District Court, Novosibirsk region, the judge opted against further custody as punishment. Picture: NGS.ru

The insurance salesman flew from the US to Germany and Kazakhstan before attempting to enter southern Siberia without the necessary Russian visa. He told FSB border guards that he did not like life in America and wanted to 'work on the land' in a Siberian village. 

Prieto was detained on his second attempt to enter Russia, after first being refused at the Pavlovka checkpoint in Novosibirsk region. He explained that acquaintances had told him that 'life here is better', and the district where he lived in the US was 'not very safe'.

After being held in detention six weeks pending his court hearing in the Karasuk District Court, Novosibirsk region, the judge opted against further custody as punishment.

Julio Prieto


Julio Prieto

'He doesn't know the language. It was very difficult here for him. So the sentence was so mild to make him leave Russia without any problems, the sooner the better.' Pictures: Vesti.Novosibirsk

But the US citizen will be held in a detention facility for foreigners until his deportation, likely to be paid for by the Russian government at a cost of 136,000 roubles ($2,162), is arranged.

He was fined 7,000 roubles ($110) but then exempted from paying it. Prosecutors had asked for more severe punishments for 'crossing of the state border of the Russian Federation without a proper permit'.

His Russian lawyer Ivan Mikhailenko said the American was 'satisfied with the sentence and thinks that it is very mild'. 

Map


Pavlovka checkpoint

Prieto was detained on his second attempt to enter Russia, after first being refused at the Pavlovka checkpoint in Novosibirsk region. Picture: The Siberian Times, Rosgranstroy

'Everyone in court saw that Julio was very frightened, he even shed a tear,' he said. 'He doesn't know the language. It was very difficult here for him. So the sentence was so mild to make him leave Russia without any problems, the sooner the better.' 

The court was told he was not on the US wanted list. 

Comments (8)

He wasn't this stupid back in High School.
Z, US
06/03/2018 07:34
0
0
@Harry Kane Actually, it seems he does have a record. Previously charged with smuggling marijuana across the border from Mexico, drunk-driving, theft and probation violations.

The majority of countries would turn him away with that background.
Charlie, O'Neill, FL
17/11/2016 22:27
1
0
@Steven Kovacs Your ignorance is truly astounding.

The Greek economy can barely support Greeks. Hordes of bedraggled hopeful immigrants are living in miserable conditions under canvas.

The Russian Federation isn't part of the EU. The EU isn't part of the Russian Federation. How does he get to be an EU country passport holder and how do you think it'll help him into Russia?
Charlie, O'Neill, FL
17/11/2016 22:19
1
0
He should go to Greece, claim to be mid-east refugee. Then he gets monthly cheque and free apartment until processed as EU citizen. Then he can get into Russia legally and fall in love with a citizen and live there forever.
Steven Kovacs, Canada
07/11/2016 01:30
0
3
He wanted to live an honest working life... it should praised and offered.. what now?
Now he is without means, without dreams and without land to work on..

What solution is that - didn't we want those people so badly.. Honest people... oh.. how naïve..

Now he must become a thief, to lessen the naïve.. ??
Harald, Netherlands
06/11/2016 12:53
0
2
I've looked into moving to Russia, but you really need a Russian wife to do it, or husband for females, otherwise it'd be too hard. Also, you need a skill and a bit of money, but not that much money, to by land and a house.
James, Australia
04/11/2016 08:33
1
1
What was this poor naive fellow thinking of making all the efforts to get from US, via Germany to Kazakhstan legally, and then somehow looses his brain and dreaming of making a living in Russia without proper documentation? :(
Vaeltaja, Finland
02/11/2016 06:49
5
0
If he wanna live in Russia, let him be! Everyone has rights to live. He is not a criminal, he didn't even do something bad. Earth is for everyone. These documents or visas are just some paper junks. Everyone has right to live wherever they want.
Harry Kane, India
01/11/2016 22:50
4
5
1

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