CORNWALL, ON, Sept. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and partners announced the results of a project that has dismantled a criminal group that were allegedly involved in the smuggling of illegal commodities between Canada and the United States (U.S.).
Project OSTONE commenced in 2011 and was initially focused on a group allegedly involved in the smuggling of contraband tobacco. As this investigation evolved, police uncovered that other individuals were also involved in trafficking marihuana and firearms as well as other criminal offences.
Throughout this twelve month investigation, police from Canada and the U.S. worked on both sides of the border to gather evidence into the alleged illegal activities of this group.
Police learned that, one particular group would bring large quantities of contraband cigarettes across the water under the cover of darkness onto a pre-arranged shore property. Operating their vessel quietly, without navigation lights to avoid detection and with their faces covered, they would quickly offload their cargo onto the property before heading back across the water. The cigarettes would then be transported to a storage area on the property. In the morning, the cigarettes would be loaded on a vehicle and distributed into local warehouses or across Ontario and beyond.
As a result of this investigation, 12 people from Cornwall and Akwesasne Mohawk Territory area are facing 83 charges such as participation in activities of Criminal organization, possession of proceeds of crime, as well as offences related to the smuggling of contraband tobacco and trafficking of marihuana and firearms. In addition to these charges, the Ontario Ministry of Finance has laid an additional 115 charges under the Ontario Tobacco Tax Act.
"Contraband tobacco presents a serious threat to public safety in Canada by contributing to the growth of organized crime" stated RCMP Inspector Tim Kimpan, who oversees the Cornwall CFSEU. He added "the success of this investigation demonstrates the CFSEU's strong national and cross-border relationships and underscores what law enforcement can achieve by working together to detect, reduce and prevent organized crime in our country"
This investigation clearly demonstrates that law enforcement efforts, aligned with the Federal Government's Contraband Tobacco Initiative (CTI), are effective. It also shows that once networks and routes are established, across the border and on land, they are used to smuggle any illegal commodity, beyond contraband tobacco, that generate illicit profits and in turn impact the safety of our communities.
Arrests and Charges:
- On September 25th, 2012, the following individuals were charged:
- Leonard CYR, 62 years old of Cornwall, Ontario,
- David Frank DELORMIER, 30 years old of South Glengarry Township,
- Brian GOWAN, 49 years old of Cornwall Ontario,
- Albert Frank JOCKO Junior, of Akwesasne Territory,
- Trevor Jacob JOCKO, 33 years old of Akwesasne Territory,
- Jordan LAZORE, 20 years old of Akwesasne Territory,
- Seth LAZORE, 28 years old of Akwesasne Territory,
- Jamie MACDOUGALL, 32 years old of South Glengarry,
- Brian MONTGOMERY, 35 years old of Akwesasne Territory,
- Jurgen REICHWEIN, 50 years old of Cornwall Ontario,
- Elvis THOMPSON, 55 years old of Akwesasne Territory,
- Jack THOMPSON, 27 years old of Akwesasne Territory,
- Collectively these individuals will face the following charges:
- Unlawful possession or sale of tobacco products (s. 32.1 EA2001)
- Property obtained from offences (s. 230(2) EA2001)
- Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (s. 5.1 CDSA)
- Possession of property obtained by crime (s. 354 CC)
- Participation in activities of criminal organization (s. 467.11(1) CC)
- Conspiracy to commit Indictable Offence - Proceeds (s. 465(1)(c) CC)
- Weapons trafficking (s. 99(1) CC)
- 115 counts under the Ontario Tobacco Act
- You can find the detailed information on all charges that these subjects are facing in your media packages.
- Amongst the items seized during the course of the investigations were:
- 401 cases of contraband tobacco products
- 11 pounds of cannabis marijuana
Law enforcement, community groups and the media, must be at the forefront in educating our communities on the impact of organized crime in our communities. The next contraband cigarette lit may finance a new drug dealing network just down the street.
The Cornwall Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) is an integrated unit comprised of members of the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Cornwall Community Police Service (CCPS), Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service (AMPS) and the Ontario Ministry of Finance. CFSEU also works closely with the US Immigration and Customs led Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST).
Photos of these seizures can be viewed by visiting the following link and clicking on the associated news release: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/on/news-nouvelles/index-eng.htm
SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mounted Police
For further information:
Sgt. Richard Rollings
RCMP Media Relations
416-992-4409 cell phone
Cst. Jean Juneau
613- 937-2820 ext. 258
613-551-1442 cell phone