The United States Border Patrol said a Mexican national from New York tried to bring two Mexican residents into the United States via Canada late last month.

The agency said Marco Salvedra-Espinoza, 42, of the Bronx, attempted to cross the border on July 27 in a car with Virginia plates registered to a rental company.

Salvedra-Espinoza, who was in the country illegally, told border patrol agents he was picking up friends. But authorities say his passengers admitted to paying thousands of dollars to be smuggled into the country.

Salvedra-Espinoza is charged with unlawful transportation of individuals. The two passengers have been charged with illegal entry.

Salvedra-Espinoza could face up to 5 years in prison.