Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service Stop Two Vehicles which leads to the seizure of 370,000 Cigarettes by the Cornwall RCMP Detachment



    CORNWALL, ON, June 13 /CNW/ - On June 2nd, 2008, at 8:38 p.m., an officer
from the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service stopped a 1999 Transport Van on
Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall, Ontario during a Highway Traffic Act
investigation. The officer noticed a strong odour of tobacco while questioning
the driver and observed cardboard boxes of cigarettes covered by a cotton
sheet inside the van. Officers from the Cornwall RCMP detachment were
contacted and attended the scene. The RCMP officers seized 250 cartons of
Discount full flavour brand cigarettes, 750 cartons of Discount light flavour
brand cigarettes and 100 cartons of DK brand cigarettes. This represents
220,000 cigarettes valued at $24,200.
    The driver, a 20 year old male resident of Island Road in Akwesasne,
Ontario was arrested and will be charged by the RCMP for possession of a
tobacco product not properly stamped according to the Excise Act 2001. He was
released and will appear in the Cornwall court on July 14th, 2008. The driver
also received several Highway Traffic Act tickets from the Akwesasne Mohawk
Police Service for failing to signal for a turn, driving while under
suspension, driver failing to provide identification and speeding. The truck,
which is valued at $3,425, was also seized by the RCMP.
    On June 4th, 2008, at 5:33 a.m., an officer from the Akwesasne Mohawk
Police Service stopped a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am in Cornwall, Ontario after it
was observed to being driven in an unsafe manner in Akwesasne, Ontario. When
the officer stopped the vehicle, he noticed a strong odour of tobacco coming
from inside the vehicle and could observe a blanket covering plastic bags of
cigarettes. Officers from the Cornwall RCMP attended the scene and seized 750
re-sealable bags of cigarettes representing 150,000 cigarettes valued at
$16,500. The tobacco seized during these two stops is believed to have been
manufactured in the United States.
    The driver, a 25 year old male resident of Ross Avenue in Cornwall,
Ontario was arrested and will be charged by the RCMP for possession of a
tobacco product not properly stamped according to the Excise Act 2001. He was
released and will appear in the Cornwall court on July 14th, 2008. The RCMP
also seized the vehicle valued at $1,000. The driver also received several
Highway Traffic Act tickets from the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service for
operating an unsafe vehicle, turning in an unsafe manner, using a plate not
authorized for the motor vehicle, using a defaced validation sticker,
operating a motor vehicle with no permit and no insurance. The driver also
faces charges for trespassing on an Indian Reserve under authority of the
Indian Act.
    "Public safety and security is our fundamental priority," states Sgt.
Michael Harvey of the RCMP. "We often see these drivers disobeying other laws
which pose a direct threat to the citizens within our communities."





For further information:

For further information: Sgt. Michael Harvey, Cornwall RCMP Detachment,
(613) 937-2831; Deputy Chief Steve Lazore, Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service,
(613) 575-2340


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