Six People Charged Following RCMP Contraband Tobacco Investigation



    CORNWALL, ON, Jan. 20 /CNW/ - Six people have been charged with various
offences after an RCMP contraband tobacco investigation. On July 30th, 2008,
members of the Cornwall RCMP Detachment with the assistance from a Canada
Border Services Agency officer followed a 1999 Mercury Sable from Akwesasne,
Ontario to a residence located in Ingleside, Ontario where officers observed
the vehicle park beside a 1989 GMC pick-up truck. Police seized 500 resealable
bags of contraband cigarettes as well as the Mercury Sable and arrested the
driver, 23 year old Donald Joseph Giasson, a resident from Rooseveltown, New
York. The driver of the pick-up truck, Carson Mitton, a 59 year old resident
from Denbigh, Ontario along with the passenger, 23 year old Mary Ann Woodcock
from Scarborough, Ontario were also arrested as a party to the offence.
Officers seized the pick-up truck, $17,840 located inside the truck and a
small quantity of a controlled substance.
    Further investigation revealed that Carson Mitton and Mary Ann Woodcock
were previously investigated by the OPP and Belleville Police Service in a
Joint Forces initiative named Project Fortitude and had been arrested by the
RCMP in the Moncton, New Brunswick region on July 6th, 2008 for possession of
10,800 resealable bags of contraband cigarettes. Project Fortitude identified
a group responsible for moving contraband tobacco from Akwesasne, Ontario to
the New Brunswick area. This investigation linked Carson Mitton with 40 year
old Yvan Leclair from Shannonville, Ontario, 33 year old Jason Lincoln Knight
and 51 year old Hubert Aurele Dore, both residents from Cornwall, Ontario.
    The information gathered during Project Fortitude was shared with
officers from the Cornwall RCMP Detachment. The matter was further
investigated with the assistance of officers from the Kingston RCMP Proceeds
of Crime Section and the RCMP Customs and Excise Unit in New Brunswick. The
investigation resulted in the following charges being laid:

    
    1.  Yvan Leclair charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence
        and Perjury
    2.  Carson Mitton charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable
        Offence, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, Possession of a
        Tobacco Product not Properly Stamped and Possession of a Controlled
        Substance
    3.  Mary Ann Woodcock charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable
        Offence, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, Possession of a
        Tobacco Product not Properly Stamped
    4.  Hubert Aurele Dore charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable
        Offence
    5.  Jason Lincoln Knight charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable
        Offence
    6.  Donald Joseph Giasson charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable
        Offence and Possession of a Tobacco Product Not Properly Stamped
    

    Yvan Leclair remains in custody on charges stemming from Project
Fortitude and the remainder of those charged by the RCMP appeared at the
Cornwall court on January 15th, 2009.
    "The RCMP is an intelligence-led organization that works with its
partners to leverage resources in the protection of Canada and Canadians from
both internal and external threats," said Sgt. Michael Harvey of the RCMP. "We
not only target contraband tobacco, but also bring to bear all assets in
addressing cross-border criminality to ensure safe homes and communities."





For further information:

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


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