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Turkish Nationals Get Lost in Minn.

January 22, 2000

ROSEAU, Minn. (AP) _ Three Turkish nationals who entered the United States illegally got lost in Minnesota’s north woods in below-zero weather.

The three men crossed the U.S.-Canada border late Tuesday in a wooded area near the town of Pinecreek, in northwestern Minnesota, Border Patrol Agent Lonny Schweitzer said.

The men said that after being lost in the forest they found the Pinecreek Lutheran Church, where they took refuge as the temperature fell to 25 below zero. The next morning, they hiked to a nearby highway where they were picked up by Alvin Sather, pastor at Pinecreek.

``They were pretty cold,″ Sather said. ``I don’t normally pick up hitchhikers, but it seemed like the Christian thing to do.″

Sather took the men to a motel in town, and later mentioned his encounter to a Border Patrol agent.

The men, ages 22, 26 and 38, were arrested at the motel and will be deported, Schweitzer said. He said they were not carrying weapons or contraband. The FBI said none of them have criminal records.

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