Derby Line Pharmacist Challenges Fine for Illegal Border Crossing | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Derby Line Pharmacist Challenges Fine for Illegal Border Crossing 

As promised, Roland "Buzzy" Roy has hired a lawyer to fight the $500 fine he got last February for illegally crossing the border from Derby Line into Canada to get a pizza.

Roy, a pharmacist, recently hired the St. Johnsbury-based firm Sleigh & Williams to challenge the fine he received from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on February 6, 2010. On that night, Roy strolled along Church Street across the border into Standstead, Quebec and was stopped by Vermont State Police as he re-entered.

Miffed about the encounter with the cops, Roy crossed two more times that night, ultimately getting stopped by border guards and fined $5000 — a penalty later lowered to $500.

(Roy made national news when NPR did a piece about him. Click here for that story. Click here to read 7 Days' staffer Lauren Ober's cover story about the towns).

Now, he wants the $500 fine expunged, but Customs and Border Protection hasn't responded to his appeal. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Nov. 19, Roy asks the court to compell the feds to rule on his fine request.

In the filing, attorney David Sleigh notes that the 67-year-old Roy has lived in Derby Line his entire life, is an elected official, operates a small business and has no criminal record. Like other Derby Line and Stanstead Quebec residents, Sleight writes, Roy has been crossing the border almost daily since he was a teenager to visit friends, shop or dine out.

The cross-border culture is deeply ingrained in these two towns. The public library and opera house both straddle the international border. The towns share a municipal water supply and sewer system. In Roy's case, many of his regular customers live on the Canadian side.

"But for reasons that remain unclear," Sleigh writes, "the enforcement at Church Street changed, suddenly and without notice on February 6. ...There had been no notice given as to the sudden new enforcement of a ban on crossing the border at Church Street."

File photo by Matthew Thorsen.

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact
Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

More By This Author

About The Author

Andy Bromage

Andy Bromage

Andy Bromage was a Seven Days staff writer from 2009-2012, and the news editor from 2012-2013.

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation