TOWNSHIP 15 RANGE 15, Maine (AP) - A resident in this remote northern Maine outpost along the Quebec border says he is being fined $10,000 for doing something he has done most his life: Going to church.
Richard Albert, 52, said the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection recently notified him that he faces two $5,000 fines for twice crossing from Quebec into Maine on a Sunday when the local border crossing station is closed.
Albert's home is 30 yards on the Maine side of the border, right beside the U.S. Customs office. But the church is on the Canadian side of the border, which means he has to cross the boundary illegally to attend church services.
Albert, a U.S. citizen, said he has been crossing the U.S.-Canada border at his own discretion for more than 40 years. But border security has been tightened since last May when the Bureau of Customs eliminated its Form 1 program.