Woodstock — A man from New Brunswick who offered to pay a Maine woman to marry him so he could move to the U.S. has been found guilty of misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Justin Durette of Cambridge Narrows appeared in Woodstock provincial court earlier this week and was found guilty on charges of trying to circumvent international marriage laws in order to find a more prosperous future in the United States. “There’s no future for me in Canada,” Durrette pleaded to the courts. “Ever since they cut all the jobs in Alberta, there’s nowhere for New Brunswickers to find work anymore.”
The Manatee asked Durette why he didn’t look at other Canadian provinces before attempting to seek refuge in America.
“Like Quebec? I don’t parle le francais, so no thanks,” he told our reporter. “I can’t go to Nova Scotia because I’ve got family there; Newfoundland is out of the question because I understand those people about as well as I understand them in Quebec. Ontario is just a place for white-collar, crack-smoking bureaucratic jerks — that ain’t me. The West is all dried up for jobs right now, and there’s no way I’m moving to B.C. with all those hippies. Really, America was my only hope.”
Durette used Craigslist to find candidates for a possible partner and originally planned on finding romance so he wouldn’t have to resort to a “green card marriage.”
“The fish weren’t biting,” he explained in embarrassment. “No one wanted to get romantically involved with some bum from New Brunswick who couldn’t find a job, so I had to change my strategy a little bit.”
Anne-Marie Perkins, a 43-year-old bartender from Augusta, Maine, was the one who finally agreed to help Durette escape to a brighter future. “He seemed so desperate and I felt compelled by God to do whatever I could to help him,” she said earnestly. “Also, it didn’t hurt that he was offering 5 grand to do it.”
Our reporter asked Durette whether Perkins was the only one who replied to the Craigslist posting.
“No, but she was the only one willing to take Canadian money for the payment,” he recalled. “Five-thousand bucks is a lot of money to me — everything I have, really. I had to withdraw all of my savings from my credits cards and checking account, sell my guitar, Xbox and all the games, and even had to take a loan from MoneyMart.”
Durette’s plan was discovered by border-patrol at the Woodstock-Houlton crossing after he was questioned by officers about his intentions in moving from Canada. “I didn’t think they’d ask me anything,” Durette said. “So, I didn’t have any answers planned out; I kind of just spilled my guts to them right away.”
“Yeah, he started crying like a little girl” said the officer. “All we did was ask him what he did for a living and he broke right down.”
Durette has been sentenced to pay a fine of $2,000 and is ordered to live in New Brunswick for the remainder of his life.
“I never thought something like this would land me a life sentence,” he said while weeping and being escorted back to his vehicle.