Couple arrested after taking wrong turn to Canada

A wrong turn into Canada turns into a nightmare for a Shelby Township couple.Bennie and Lalani Choice were hea...

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 10:42 AM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 10:42 AM

A wrong turn into Canada turns into a nightmare for a Shelby Township couple.

Bennie and Lalani Choice were heading home from a night out at the Auto Show and dinner in Mexicantown. They're not from Detroit and they got confused when the ramp they were supposed to take for I-75 was closed.

"We didn't know the area, so I'm like, I'm just going to stay down on the service drive and it should be another entrance ramp," said Bennie Choice.

Instead they ended up on a 'no re-entry' ramp on the way into Canada. They asked a woman at a toll booth how to get back around.

"She did tell me that customs would just let me turn around, I wouldn't even have to enter into Canada," said Choice.

Choice said the woman didn't even charge them for the toll.

After they made it across the bridge, a customs agent asked if they had any illegal guns or weapons. Bennie said he didn't. He is a veteran and a licensed gun holder.

"In my mind I'm not illegal," said Choice.

He expected to just turn around at that point.

"The exit for the United States was right there, all she had to do was say ok go left," said Choice.

Instead, he was flagged over to be searched. When he got out of the car he told the agent about his gun.

"He looked at me and said do you have a gun? and I said 'yeah I do', I gave him my license and everything and then he said you're under arrest," said Choice.

He and his wife were put in handcuffs and taken to a room. The agents also found pepper spray on his wife's key chain.

"They were like, do you all realize what you were doing, smuggling guns and pepper spray into Canada? We weren't even trying to come to Canada, we were trying to turn around," said Lalani Choice.

Lalani said she was treated like an animal. She was terrified and crying. She had to call off for her late shift at work, since they were detained for nearly five hours.

"You shouldn't feel like a criminal because you made a wrong turn or you didn't understand the question right. and to be treated we were threatened with prison time," said Lalani Choice.

The couple said was forced to surrender their vehicle. Customs agents checked their background and sent them back across the border in a cab.

In order to get their vehicle back, they had to come back to Canada and pay near $2,500. They were not allowed to have the gun back.

The money was supposed to go towards Lalani's nursing school tuition.

"We were saving that money for that, we don't have that extra money." said Bennie.

7 Action News reached out to the Canada Border Services Agency for comment:

While not speaking to any specific incident, we can tell you that all persons entering Canada must report to the CBSA and answer questions truthfully, regardless if an individual claims to have entered Canada by mistake. When travellers arrive at a port of entry at the primary inspection booth, they must take the first opportunity to declare any firearms in their possession to the CBSA officer to eliminate any risk of penalty or prosecution. All travellers attempting to enter Canada are asked if they have a firearm or weapon in their possession.

Travellers who have fully declared their firearms, but don't have the required licence or permit to import them into Canada, will have the option of obtaining the required documentation, exporting the goods under CBSA supervision, abandoning the goods to the Crown or appealing the prohibited classification of the goods in question. Goods may be exported immediately or the CBSA may hold the item until the importer has made necessary arrangements for the goods to be exported by a company licensed to transport the type of firearm or weapon in question.

Visitors to Canada cannot, under any circumstances, import prohibited firearms, prohibited devices or prohibited weapons. Firearms are high-risk commodities and their interdiction is an enforcement priority of the Agency. Canadian firearms laws are clear: visitors to Canada who do not declare firearms upon arrival can face seizure, criminal prosecution and deportation. All firearms must be declared.

Finally, once a traveller has entered Canada, the individual must report to the CBSA.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds290851
DeSoto190019
Madison144638
Jones120349
Harrison113616
Rankin108715
Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
Leake63520
Lee61222
Oktibbeha61128
Grenada5949
Warren59421
Holmes58641
Wayne56218
Yazoo5536
Lowndes54813
Lamar5347
Leflore53156
Lincoln52935
Pike49920
Lafayette4974
Sunflower4778
Monroe45635
Panola4486
Covington4355
Bolivar40518
Simpson3933
Attala38424
Newton37510
Tate35213
Adams35120
Pontotoc3466
Marion32712
Claiborne30111
Chickasaw29719
Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18111
Montgomery1713
Calhoun1645
Humphreys16310
Itawamba1468
Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 93°
Columbus
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 92°
Oxford
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 93°
Starkville
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 85°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather