Significant Contraband Tobacco Seizures Made by RCMP and Law Enforcement
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CORNWALL, ON, Jan. 11 /CNW/ - The following details are seizures made by the Cornwall RCMP Detachment from January 4th, 2010 to January 11th, 2010. A total of 5,250 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes, 700 cartons of little cigars, 1,094 kilograms of fine cut tobacco, 6 vehicles and fifteen people arrested:

On January 5th, 2010, at 2:45 p.m., officers from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the Cornwall Port of Entry inspected a 2004 Chevrolet Impala and located cardboard boxes of contraband cigarettes inside the trunk of the vehicle. Officers from the Cornwall RCMP Detachment were contacted to assist and seized 400 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes. The 21 year old female driver and 19 year old female passenger, both residents from Akwesasne, Ontario were arrested and face charges for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped. They were both released to appear at court on a later date.

On January 6th, 2010, at 6:20 a.m., officers from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the Cornwall RCMP Detachment to assist with a contraband tobacco seizure located on private property along the shore of the St. Lawrence River in South Glengarry, Ontario. The OPP officers observed a male waiting inside a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox on private property and also observed a boat with no lights near the shore. Officers also located 12 garbage bags of fine cut tobacco on the shore near the vehicle. RCMP officers seized 302 kilograms of fine cut tobacco and arrested a 23 year old male resident from Ohsweken, Ontario for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped. He was released to appear at court on a later date. He also faces a trespassing charge by the OPP who also seized the vehicle.

On January 6th, 2010, at 11:15 p.m., officers from CBSA at the Cornwall Port of Entry questioned the driver and passenger of a 2001 GMC Sierra pick-up truck. When asked to pull ahead to a secondary inspection, the pick-up truck sped away and returned back to Akwesasne, Ontario where the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service located the pick-up truck. Both the driver and passenger fled and could not be located. The pick-up truck was towed back to the Port of Entry where CBSA officers discovered that the truck was modified to hide the re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes. RCMP officers attended to assist and seized the pick-up truck as well as 500 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes. No arrests have been made and the investigation continues.

On January 7th, 2010, at 8:37 p.m., an officer from the OPP observed a 1999 Chevrolet Malibu travelling an unusually slow speed on County Road 27 in South Glengarry, Ontario. The officer stopped the vehicle on Highway 401 eastbound after the vehicle was observed to be driving erratically. When the officer questioned the driver he detected a strong odour of tobacco and observed tobacco residue in the back seats of the vehicle. RCMP officers were contacted to assist and located re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes inside the trunk of the vehicle. A total of 600 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes were seized. The 27 year old female driver from Cornwall, Ontario was arrested and faces a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped. She was released to appear at court on a later date.

On January 8th, 2010 at 1:30 a.m., an officer from the Cornwall Community Police Service observed two males at the end of a residential street near the St. Lawrence River in Cornwall, Ontario pulling garbage bags from the shore to the driveway of a nearby residence. As the officer approached in his marked police vehicle the two males ran towards the St. Lawrence River. The officer followed the males and observed one male board a boat in which there were two other males. The second male was left on shore and detained by the officer. Upon his return to the residence, the officer observed a 1997 Plymouth Voyager van full of the garbage bags. RCMP officers from the Cornwall Detachment were contacted to assist. The officers confirmed that the garbage bags contained fine cut tobacco and they seized 54 garbage bags containing a total of 792 kilograms of fine cut tobacco. The 23 year old male resident from Toronto, Ontario was arrested and faces a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped. He was released to appear at court on a later date.

On January 8th, 2010, at 5:04 p.m., officers from CBSA at the Cornwall Port of Entry inspected a 1998 Chevrolet pick-up truck and located re-sealable bags of contraband tobacco. The officers also noticed that the pick-up truck had been modified in order to store the contraband tobacco. RCMP officers were contacted to assist and seized 700 cartons of PT brand cherry and grape flavoured little cigars as well as the pick-up truck. The 22 year old male driver from Cornwall, Ontario and the 27 year old male passenger from Williamstown, Ontario were arrested and each face a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped. The were released to appear at court on a later date.

On January 8th, 2010, at 5:45 p.m., officers from CBSA at the Cornwall Port of Entry inspected a 2002 Ford pick-up truck and located re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes in a hidden compartment in the rear of the truck. RCMP officers were contacted to assist and seized a total of 450 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes that were hidden on each side panel and in a compartment on the floor. The officers also located re-sealable bags under the hood of the vehicle. The pick-up truck was also seized. The 23 year old male resident from Akwesasne, Ontario was arrested and faces a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped. He was released to appear at court on a later date.

On January 8th, 2010, at 6:15 p.m., CBSA officers at the Cornwall Port of Entry inspected a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado and located re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes in the bed of the pick-up truck. RCMP officers attended to assist and seized 450 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes as well as the pick-up truck. Officers observed that there were four holes cut in the bed of the pick-up truck used to conceal the contraband cigarettes. The 17 year old male youth as defined under the Youth Criminal Justice Act from Akwesasne, Quebec was released and will appear at court on a later date.

On January 8th, 2010, at 6:30 p.m., CBSA officers at the Cornwall Port of Entry inspected a 2008 Pontiac G5 and located cardboard boxes of contraband cigarettes inside the trunk of the vehicle. RCMP officers attended to assist and seized 200 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes. The 29 year old male driver and the 26 year old female passenger, both residents from Akwesasne, Ontario, were arrested and each face a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped. They were released and appear at court on a later date.

On January 8th, 2010, at 7:00 p.m., officers from the OPP stopped a 1999 Chevrolet Malibu on County Road 2 in South Glengarry, Ontario. When the officer approached the driver he observed cardboard boxes of contraband cigarettes inside the vehicle. RCMP officers were contacted to assist and seized 550 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes. The 54 year old female driver from Cornwall, Ontario was arrested and faces a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped. She was released to appear at court on a later date.

On January 9th, 2010, at 1:10 p.m., CBSA officers at the Cornwall Port of Entry inspected a 2006 GMC Sierra and found it to be transporting contraband cigarettes. RCMP officers arrived to assist and seized 400 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes as well as the vehicle. The 26 year old female passenger from Akwesasne, Ontario was arrested and faces a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped. She was released to appear at court on a later date.

On January 9th, 2010, at 6:30 p.m., officers from the Cornwall Community Police Service received a call about a suspicious vehicle on a residential street in Cornwall, Ontario. When the officers arrived, they observed six men trying to move numerous cardboard boxes of contraband cigarettes northbound across a frozen canal into two waiting vans. Most of the men fled on foot but officer were able to arrest a 53 year old male resident from Cornwall, Ontario who was breaching the conditions from a previous Cornwall Community Police Service charge. RCMP officers attended to assist and seized 1,450 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes. The lone male at the scene was arrested by the RCMP for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped and the investigation continues.

On January 10th, 2010, at 12:17 p.m., CBSA officers located at the Cornwall Port of Entry inspected a 1995 Chevrolet Silverado and located re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes inside the side panels of the truck. RCMP officers attended to assist and seized 250 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes that were also found in a dug out portion of the truck bed underneath the plastic liner. The truck was also seized. A 39 year female resident from Cornwall, Ontario was arrested and faces a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped. She was released to appear at court on a later date.

"There is a common theme to successful contraband tobacco smuggling interdiction's and that is the co-operation between area law enforcement agencies who continue to work together to disrupt criminal activity in our communities," said Sgt. Michael Harvey from the RCMP. "Our primary goal is to keep our communities safe and to protect our border from organized criminals who continue to take advantage of the geography of this region".

SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted Police

For further information: For further information: Sgt. Michael Harvey, RCMP Cornwall Detachment, (613) 937-2831


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