CORNWALL, ON, Jan. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - The Cornwall Regional Task Force
(CRTF) made and assisted in eight (8) contraband tobacco seizures,
three (3) drug related seizures, one (1) Proceeds of Crime
investigation as well as one (1) breach of Probation Order
investigation in the following jurisdictions between December 22nd, 2011 and January 17th, 2012:
Three (3) investigations at Cornwall's Port of Entry;
Six (6) investigations in South Glengarry, Ontario; and
Four (4) investigations in Cornwall, Ontario;
These seizures resulted in the arrest of thirteen (13) individuals who
have been charged separately with the following offences:
On December 22nd, 2011, Timothy McCormick (age 30) from Avonmore, Ontario, was charged under the Excise Act 2001
after being found to be in possession of 20 cases of contraband tobacco
products. The 2004 van driven by McCormick was seized.
On December 23rd, 2011, Brittney Skidders (age 24) from Hogansburg, NY, was charged under the Excise Act 2001
after being stopped at Cornwall's Port of Entry with one (1) case of
contraband tobacco, later found to be infested with an unknown bug. Skidders' 2005 pickup truck was also seized.
On January 1st, 2012, a male (age 33) from Rochester, NY, was arrested at Cornwall's
Port of Entry for failing to declare close to $15,000 in US currency.
This matter has been referred to RCMP Kingston's Proceeds of Crime Unit
for further investigation.
On January 3rd, 2012, as a result of an OPP Commercial traffic stop, Marshall McComber (age 23) and Evan Williams (age 20), both from Kahnawake, Quebec, were charged under the Excise
Act 2001 after their rental cube van was searched and found to contain
approx. 6,000 pounds of fine cut tobacco.
On January 4th, 2012, Michael Somerstein (age 55) from Williamstown, Ontario, was stopped by CRTF members and
found to be in possession of an axe. Investigation of Somerstein revealed he was on a Probation Order. As a result, he was charged for
breaching one of the conditions of his order and was held in custody
pending a bail hearing.
On January 4th, 2012, Joseph Lavare (age 22) from Bombay, NY, was stopped leaving a Cornwall residence and
found to be in possession of twenty (20) cases of contraband
cigarettes. Lavare was charged under the Excise Act 2001 and the 2004 crossover vehicle he
was driving was seized. Later that day, CRTF members obtained and
executed a search warrant to search the Cornwall residence, resulting
in the arrests of Robert Cole (age 45) and Robyn Jacco (age 29), both from Cornwall, Ontario. They have both been charged
under the Excise Act 2001 for being in possession of thirty (30) cases
of contraband tobacco. In addition to the contraband seized, CRTF
members seized a 2003 pickup truck and approximately $4,200 (CDN)
On January 9th, 2012, CRTF members on patrol in Glen Walter, Ontario, noticed a
suspicious vehicle parked at the Precious Blood Church. Upon closer
examination, Christian Searle (age 21) from Summerstown, Ontario, was found to be smoking marihuana.
Searle faces a charge under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act as he was
found to be in possession of more than 30 grams of marihuana.
In the early hours of January 10th, 2012, CRTF members observed a vessel, occupied by two (2) unknown
males, unloading twenty-eight (28) cases of contraband cigarettes onto
the shores of Hamilton Island. As members approached to effect
arrests, the two males fled on their vessel. The contraband along with
a 2004 van was seized.
On January 16th, 2012, after observing what appeared to be a contraband transaction
taking place at Cornwall's Wharf, CRTF members stopped Michael Fodey (age 25), from Cornwall, Ontario. Fodey was found to be in possession of twenty four (24) cases of contraband
cigarettes. He was charged under the Excise Act 2001 and the 1990
pickup truck he was driving was also seized.
On January 17th, 2012, further to an investigation conducted by members of the CRTF,
Georges Raymond (age 28) and Frantzy Jean (age 27) both from Ottawa, Ontario, were arrested for being in
possession of marihuana. Raymond was subsequently charged for breaching the conditions of his probation
order. Jean was charged with obstructing a peace officer by initially providing
CRTF members a false name. Jean was also charged with three (3) counts of failing to comply with the
conditions of his recognizance. Both, Raymond and Jean, were held in custody pending their bail hearings.
In three (3) other separate investigations, two (2) involving contraband
tobacco products and one (1) involving a drug seizure, charges were not
laid against individuals due to the minimal quantity involved.
The individuals noted above, who have been charged under the provisions
of the Excise Act 2001, also face charges under the provincial Tobacco
Tax Act for possession of unmarked cigarettes.
The CRTF continues to address the complaints of suspicious activity
observed by local residents. If anyone notices suspicious activity,
they are urged to please contact the CRTF at 613-937-2800 or Crime
Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The CRTF is a joint forces partnership that includes the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, Ontario Provincial
Police, Ontario Ministry of Revenue and Cornwall Community Police
SOURCE Cornwall Regional Task Force
For further information:
| Sgt. Lee Côté |
| Sgt. Kristine Rae |
Ontario Provincial Police