WINDSOR, ON, June 5, 2012 /CNW/ - As the result of two separate,
on-going investigations, the Windsor RCMP have arrested and charged
three men and seized approximately 725,000 illegal cigarettes.
The first incident occurred during the evening of June 1, 2012 as RCMP
Border Response Team investigators observed a white Chevrolet cargo van
pull up near a red Pontiac Grand Prix in a Dougall Avenue parking lot.
Both vehicles departed the parking lot and were stopped near the
intersection of Sharon Avenue and Dynasty Street. All the vehicle
occupants were arrested for Excise Act,2001 offences and police seized
56 cases of contraband tobacco (Approximately 560,000 cigarettes).
Police investigation determined that the operator of the cargo van - 36
year old Adrian MILLER of Oshweken, Ontario was also wanted on warrants
for Excise Act, 2001 (contraband tobacco) offences as well as charges
of Failing to Appear from Brockville, Ontario.
As a result of this investigation, 40 year old Samer ZOTTI of Windsor,
Ontario and Adrian Miller have been charged with Unlawfully
Purchase/Receive Unstamped Tobacco and Unlawfully Possess for Sale
Unstamped Tobacco contrary to the Excise Act, 2001 and two counts of
Conspire to Contravene the Excise Act, 2001 contrary to the Criminal
Code. Samer ZOTTI is next scheduled to appear in the Windsor Ontario
Court of Justice on June 11th, 2012. Adrian MILLER is currently held in custody.
The second incident occurred during the evening of June 4, 2012 as RCMP
officers executed search warrants on a Windsor Variety store and an
outdoor storage shed. Police seized approximately 800 cartons of
cigarettes (Approximately 165,000 cigarettes). The searches took place
at the Westcott Variety on Westcott Street in Windsor. The store's
manager, a 34 year old Windsor man, is facing charges of Possession of
Unstamped Tobacco contrary to the Excise Act, 2001.
"It is illegal to possess or sell tobacco products that are not packaged
or stamped as required by Canadian law", said S/Sgt Bob BERGOINE - the
NCO i/c Windsor Border Response Team. He added "people need to be
aware that they are funding criminal activity when they purchase
contraband tobacco products".
Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to
contact their local police, the RCMP at 1-800-387-0020 or Crime
Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
RCMP Border Response Teams (BRT's) enhance border integrity and security
along the shared Canada/U.S. border by identifying, investigating and
interdicting persons, organizations and goods that threaten the
national security of our countries or that are involved in organized
SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted Police
For further information:
For further information (or photographs) please contact:
Sgt. Peter KOERSVELT
Windsor RCMP Detachment