Fine Cut Tobacco, Drugs, Counterfeit Cash and Cigars Seized in Latest CRTF Busts

CORNWALL, ON, June 15, 2012 /CNW/ - On May 17th, 2012, at approximately 6:00 pm, CRTF members responded to an anonymous complaint that smuggling activity was taking place at a Summerstown, Ontario, shoreline residence.  Information received indicated that contraband was being off loaded from a vessel into an awaiting van.  Upon arrival, members stopped the suspect vehicle as it was departing the location.  The vehicle was found to contain numerous garbage bags filled with fine cut contraband tobacco.   Both, the driver of the vehicle, Clive Nelson GABRIEL (age 20) from St. Laurent, Quebec, and the passenger, Evan ROBERTSON (age 21) from Laval, Quebec, were arrested for the possession of unstamped tobacco. During this incident, the following items were seized:  a 2003 Dodge Caravan, 422.1 kg of fine cut tobacco and 50 re-sealable, clear plastic bags (each containing approximately 200 contraband cigarettes), 0.6 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marihuana, 43 tablets of a drug suspected to be lysergic acid diethylamide (known as LSD), $500.00 CDN ($20.00 denomination) believed to be counterfeit and pepper spray.  GABRIEL and ROBERTSON were transported to Cornwall RCMP Detachment where they were processed.  ROBERTSON and GABRIEL were charged with offences related to the evidence seized.  ROBERTSON, who was on probation at the time of these offences, was also charged with four (4) counts of breaching his Probation Order.  ROBERTSON and GABRIEL were held in custody pending their respective bail hearings.

In the early morning hours on May 18th, 2012, while conducting vehicle and vessel patrols along the St. Lawrence River, CRTF members observed a boat approach the shoreline subdivision, South Glengarry, Ontario. A short time afterwards, members observed an Ontario plated van speeding away from the area where the boat was believed to have attended.  As members attempted to stop the vehicle for further investigation, the vehicle came to a stop near Charlottenburg Park, and the driver fled into the woods. OPP Police Dog Service (K-9) and Emergency Response Team (ERT) members attended the scene and located the driver later identified as Daniel MALETTE (age 24) from Cornwall, Ontario.   CRTF members apprehended a suspect who attempted to flee on foot. The suspect was later identified as Claude MENARD (age 30) from Lancaster, Ontario.  A total of 120 cases of unstamped tobacco were seized along with two older model vans.

MALETTE was held in custody pending a bail hearing and was charged with being in possession of contraband cigarettes, failing to comply with his Probation Order and two counts of failing to comply with his Recognizance. MENARD was released from custody on a Promise to Appear with an Undertaking and was also charged with being in possession of contraband cigarettes.

On June 5th, 2012, at approximately 09:30 am, further to an OPP Highway Traffic stop conducted on the westbound lanes of Highway 401 near Long Sault, CRTF members were called to the scene to further a possible Excise Act investigation.  It was believed that the driver, Kevin SMART (age 32) from Akwesasne, Ontario, was transporting contraband cigarettes.  CRTF members arrived on scene to conduct their investigation and subsequently arrested SMART for being in possession of six (6) cases of contraband cigarettes.  The vehicle, along with the contraband cigarettes, was seized.  SMART was escorted to RCMP Detachment where he was processed.  SMART was held in custody pending his bail hearing given he is currently awaiting disposition on similar charges dating back to November 2010.

On June 12th, 2012, while assisting RCMP Valleyfield members in the Bainsville, Ontario, area, CRTF members observed a boat attending the shoreline.   A short time afterwards, a pickup truck was observed departing the suspect location and a traffic stop was initiated on the eastbound lanes of Highway 401.  The truck was found to contain 34 cases of cigars of a variety of flavours.  The driver, Tevin TERRANCE (age 19) from Akwesasne, NY was arrested, charged and held for his bail hearing for being in possession of the contraband cigars.

The individuals noted above, who have been charged under the provisions of the Excise Act, 2001, also face charges under the provincial Tobacco Tax Act for possession of unmarked cigarettes.

If you have any information regarding criminal activity in your area, you can contact the CRTF at 613-937-2800 or call Crime stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The CRTF is a joint forces partnership that includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

SOURCE Cornwall Regional Task Force

For further information:

Sgt. Lee Côté
Cornwall RTF

Sgt. Kristine Rae
Ontario Provincial Police


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