FOUR FALLS, New Brunswick (AP) – The U.S. government will allow mail deliveries to a New Brunswick farm that straddles the border, saying its earlier decision to block mail was a misunderstanding.

Marion and Nickolaj Pedersen said they feel like prisoners on their 247-acre potato farm whose driveway crosses into U.S. territory. And a decision to prevent Canada Post from making deliveries last week only reinforced that feeling.

The Pedersens had been forced to pick up their mail at a neighbor’s house more than a mile away. But on Thursday, Canada Post and the Pedersens said the problem has been resolved. All parties agreed it was just a misunderstanding.

The couple’s border problems began on Jan. 31 when Marion Pedersen was returning from Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, with her groceries when a U.S. Border Patrol officer stopped her at her house.

Since then, the Pedersens have been given special permission by the Border Patrol to use the road, but no one else can.

“No friends, no family, no services,” Marion Pedersen said.

The closest U.S. border crossing is a 10-minute drive away at Fort Fairfield, Maine, near Perth Andover.

The couple has considered selling and moving but wonder who would buy the land with the current border conflict.

Marion Pedersen said the couple proposed that the U.S. government buy the farm, but they were told the government couldn’t set a precedent.

The case was reminiscent of the situation in Estcourt Station, where Michel Jalbert was arrested when he crossed the border to buy gas without checking in with Customs officials. The gas station was in Maine but the entrance to the gas station passed across Canadian soil.

Jalbert spent 35 days in jail in Maine and his arrest started an international debate on border security.

Under a deal with prosecutors, Jalbert, of Pohenegamook, Quebec, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to entering the country as an illegal alien with a firearm. He was spared additional jail time.

AP-ES-04-17-03 0953EDT



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