An immigrant from Mexico had an interesting scheme to hook up with his girlfriend in the United States, by taking a long hike in Glacier National Park.
Luis Alejandro Lopez-Solis, 36, of Mexico flew to Canada last Sept. 21, took a rental car to Waterton and then entered Glacier National Park at Goat Haunt on Sept. 24, walking south into the Park, federal prosecutors said last week.
But Park rangers, while on routine patrol of the Goat Haunt area of Glacier, told St. Mary Border Patrol agents of a suspicious person walking south from the Goat Haunt Ranger Station area, federal prosecutors claim. Border Patrol agents searched for the person and later identified Lopez-Solis. Agents found him talking to a park law enforcement ranger on a trail south of the ranger station. Lopez-Solis was taken to the ranger station for an interview. Lopez-Solis, who was in wet clothing and shivering, said he had fallen into a nearby creek while trying to cross it.
Agents arrested Lopez-Solis and flew him by helicopter from the ranger Goat Jaunt to the St. Mary Border Patrol Station for further investigation. He confirmed he was a citizen of Mexico.
He said his plan was to follow the trail system — up and over the continental divide to the Chief Mountain Trailhead in the U.S. where his girlfriend was going to pick him up.
Lopez-Solis has been in the states illegally before.
He was deported in May 2017 after conviction on passport fraud and did not have permission to reenter the United States.
Lopez-Solis pleaded guilty to illegal entry on Dec. 11.
Sentencing is set for Feb. 21. Lopez-Solis is detained pending further court appearances. He faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette Stewart is prosecuting the case.