Christopher Sagajllo released after two months in U.S. custody

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Christopher Sagajllo released after two months in U.S. custody.

Christopher Sagajllo, 56, a British man arrested when he swam across the Detroit River from Canada to deliver four handmade books before Christmas, will be returned to Ontario after spending two months in U.S. custody.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker sentenced Sagajllo to time served, clearing his return to St. Catherines, Ontario, where the British native is a permanent Canadian resident.

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“He is not a dangerous individual,” defense attorney Benton Martin said.

Christopher Sagajllo declined to speak in court. But he explained in a letter why he chose a risky way to get into the U.S.

Christopher Sagajllo said he was desperate after being turned away days earlier at the border in Niagara Falls, New York. U.S. authorities said he was ineligible because he had been deported to the United Kingdom in 2010 after overstaying a visit by seven years.

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Christopher Sagajllo said he had followed his religious faith and made books in silk bags.

“Four of the recipients were in the United States, and I believed they needed to be delivered before Christmas. … I believed I needed to swim across. I felt that if I did not do what was, I believe, required of me, that something terrible would happen to me in the future,” he wrote.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Fairchild said the government had no objection to returning Sagajllo to Canada after weeks in custody.

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