BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Montreal man has been acquitted by a federal court jury on a charge he helped transport two men in Vermont after they apparently crossed illegally into the United States from Canada.

The jury returned the verdict Thursday after the trial of Viatcheslav Kim, a naturalized Canadian citizen originally from Russia.

Kim was apprehended by Border Patrol agents in Derby Line in the early morning hours of May 31 with two men in his car, one from Russia, the other Uzbekistan. While Kim was in the country legally, neither of his passengers had permission to be in the United States.

Federal Public Defender Michael Desautels said Friday the jury could not be persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt that Kim knew his passengers were in the country illegally.