London RCMP Charges Male with Tobacco, Marihuana and Firearms Offences

LONDON, ON, June 30, 2014 /CNW/ - On Friday, June 27, 2014 members of the London RCMP arrested a male for the sale of unstamped raw leaf tobacco. Subsequently a search warrant was executed at the male's farm in Malahide Township, Ontario.

David Alphonse Versnick (age 52) of Malahide has been charged with three counts of selling unstamped raw leaf tobacco under the Excise Act, 2001 and three counts of possession of proceeds of crime under the Criminal Code. As a result of the search of his property, he has also been charged with five counts of careless storage of a firearm and possession of marihuana contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. In addition, David Versnick has been charged with breach of a recognizance resulting from the alleged unlawful possession of various weapons including rifles, shotguns and a cross bow.

It is an offence in Canada to sell tobacco products not properly licensed under the Excise Act, 2001. Offenders convicted of possessing, buying or selling contraband tobacco products could be subject to fines or penalties ranging from $10,000 to $1,000,000 and/or imprisonment for up to five years. This excludes Provincial fines, which can be many times higher.

Although the effects of illegal tobacco activities may not be obvious, all Canadians feel the repercussions of these activities in the form of:

  • The loss of millions in Federal and Provincial Government revenues.

  • Undermining public health efforts to decrease tobacco use.

  • Preventing legitimate businesses from carrying out their activities in a climate of fair competition.

"The RCMP is committed to working with our partners to tackle the illicit tobacco market and ensure safe homes and safe communities for all Canadians" stated S/Sgt. Steve Arthur, Acting Officer in Charge of RCMP London Detachment.

David Versnick has been held in custody and will appear in the London Courthouse on Monday, June 30, 2014.

Anyone with information regarding the sale and/or manufacturing of contraband tobacco is asked to contact the RCMP at 1-800-387-0020 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-265-4444.

SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

For further information:

Cpl. D'Arcy Cartier
Media Relation Officer
London Detachment
RCMP "O" Division
Office: (519) 645-4329 ext. 238

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