Couple sure love will overcome

“Trunk monkey” can’t enter U.S., fiance may not be allowed in Canada after border arrest

An Amherst woman who got caught trying to sneak across the U.S. border in the trunk of her American fiance’s sports car says the couple, who met online, will find a way to spend their lives together despite any legal obstacles.

Dora Arlene Sauveur, 36, was arrested July 19 at the border crossing at Houlton, Maine, and served 23 days in a county jail at Bangor, Maine. Her friends started calling her “trunk monkey” and “suitcase” after her arrest.

Her fiance, Martin Ellis Crossno, 34, of South Carolina started serving a similar jail term last week.

Ms. Sauveur is banned from visiting the United States for 20 years and Mr. Crossno is now a convicted felon and might not be allowed to visit Canada.

Ms. Sauveur said the couple will find a way to be together, even if it means moving to France or Mexico or living in tents across from each other at the Canada-U.S. border.

“I’m sure we’re going to figure something out,” she said. “We’re getting married.”

She said Mr. Crossno has written to Oprah Winfrey and hopes to win the American TV talk show host’s support or appear on her program.

Ms. Sauveur and Mr. Crossno, who had clean records at the time of their arrest, last saw each other in court the next day. They had spent the night in adjoining cells but couldn’t see each other.

“We could talk to each other,” Ms. Sauveur said from her home Monday.

“They took him first, and he said, ‘I love you, baby.’ ”

When they were being transferred — in shackles and handcuffs — from the jail to the courthouse, their paths crossed and Ms. Sauveur defied the guards’ orders against personal contact and quickly gave Mr. Crossno a kiss.

Since then, the pair have mostly communicated the way they met — over the Internet.

Ms. Sauveur, who referred to herself as a “crazy Newfie,” had been married to Doug Sauveur of Amherst for nine years. They had two sons, now ages nine and six, but split in July 2003.

She met a different South Carolina man, Todd Mumford, 33, on the Internet in May 2004, went to visit him and ended up moving in with his parents.

She briefly returned to Canada and went back to Mr. Mumford’s parents’ house in August 2004. Her relationship with Mr. Mumford ended a few months later but she continued to stay with his parents and met Mr. Crossno last April.

She hit it off with the computer expert, whom she said hadn’t had a girlfriend for about eight years.

“We went hiking and we both clicked,” she said. “We just talked to each other all the time and we just grew more fond of each other.”

She started the application process for American citizenship, met Mr. Crossno’s parents and took him to Canada to meet her family in July.

The couple set out to drive back to South Carolina on July 14 but got stopped at the border. Ms. Sauveur had her sons with her and was asked to talk to a border official. She had all the necessary paperwork and her ex-husband’s permission to take the kids, who were on summer vacation, but a border officer said she had violated her six-month visa on her previous visit to the U.S.

She was denied entry to the country for five years. But with work as a graphic designer awaiting her in South Carolina, she decided to sneak into the country. Although she had a global positioning system device and contemplated running through the woods, she and Mr. Crossno decided she’d hide in the trunk of his car.

“To think back now, it was kind of stupid,” she said.

The American judge told Ms. Sauveur to start acting her age.

She said her jail time involved lots of boredom and horrible food.

“I’d have to ask them, ‘What are we eating?’ ” she said.

After her release, she returned to Amherst and started working at Wal-Mart, a job she will leave next week to work for TeleTech, a call centre company.

Ms. Sauveur said Mr. Crossno recently became very religious.

“I guess he found God before he went to jail,” she said. “He got to bring his Bible in and he’s just going to Bible-thump in jail,” she said.

She isn’t religious, but she said his recent conversion won’t be a problem for them.

To communicate during their time apart, Ms. Sauveur bought a laptop to send instant messages and she also foots the bill for pricey, international, convict-to-civilian phone calls. She said they’ve spoken to each other for up to a half-hour at $5 a minute.

She said her family and friends are supportive, even though some tease her, but Mr. Crossno’s family is somewhat shocked by all that has happened.

“Before me, Martin wasn’t with anybody for like eight or 10 years,” she said. “Then he meets me and in four months I’m meeting his mom, and (after) another month we’re going to meet my parents, and then in another month we’re in jail.”

Ms. Sauveur thinks her ban from the U.S. is “awful mean” and too long.

“It’s kind of crazy to ban someone for 20 years,” she said. “If I had a trunk full of drugs or a trunk full of guns or a bunch of Mexicans stuffed in the trunk, it’d be different, but I don’t think we did it in such a mean way that that’s the punishment we should put up with.”

Mr. Crossno’s situation regarding entry to Canada isn’t clear.

Jennifer Morrison, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency, said: “If you have a criminal record, then right off the bat you’re inadmissible to Canada, (but) there are some exceptions.”

She said such people have two options — apply for permission at a consulate outside Canada or speak to an officer on arrival at the border.

“It’s their decision to make and they take all the factors into consideration,” Ms. Morrison said.

“It really depends on the situation.”

She wouldn’t speculate on Mr. Crossno’s chances of entering Canada but said a felony conviction always remains on a person’s record.

Despite all the difficulties they’ve been through, Ms. Sauveur said she would do it all over again to be with her man.

“You can’t beat love,” she said.

Source: The Chronicle Herald
Byline: DAN ARSENAULT Crime Reporter

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