CORNWALL, ON, April 18, 2013 /CNW/ - In the late afternoon of March 12th, 2013, members of the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) were called to Cornwall's Port of Entry (POE) by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers. It is alleged that Tanner JOCK (age 22), from Akwesasne, Quebec, was attempting to cross the POE with 11 cases of contraband cigarette baggies in his vehicle. JOCK was arrested for possession of the unstamped tobacco and later released from custody on a Recognizance. The conveyance and contraband were seized.
On the evening of March 26th, 2013, while conducting surveillance along the St. Lawrence River, in South Glengarry, Ontario, CRTF members observed a suspicious vehicle attend a shoreline residence. Departing a short time later, the vehicle was stopped by police. As a result of the stop, three (3) males, Mahmoud YAGBI (age 27), Marwan SABLANI (age 42) and Paul NASSIF (age 35), all from Ottawa, Ontario, were found to be in possession of contraband tobacco products. YAGBI, SABLANI and NASSIF were each arrested for the unstamped tobacco, processed and later released from custody on their respective Promises to Appear. Along with the conveyance, twelve cases totaling 72 kilograms of flavored tobacco was seized.
In the early evening hours of March 28th, 2013, CRTF members were once again called by CBSA to Cornwall's POE. It is alleged that Mason LAZORE (age 19) from St. Regis, Quebec, was attempting to cross the POE with nine (9) cases of contraband flavored cigars. LAZORE was arrested for possession of unstamped tobacco, processed and released from custody on a Promise to Appear.
On April 2nd, 2013, while conducting a RIDE checkpoint in South Stormont, Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) had occasion to stop a vehicle for investigation. This investigation revealed that Jacques DUVAL (age 66) from Vankleek Hill, Ontario, was in possession of eight (8) cases of contraband cigarettes. Members of the CRTF were called to take over the investigation. Along with the contraband, DUVAL's vehicle, a 2005 Chevrolet Venture van, was seized. DUVAL was processed and later released from custody on a Promise to Appear.
In the early evening hours of April 8th, 2013, CRTF members were called to the Cornwall Port of Entry (POE) where Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers had stopped Gary GABRIEL (age 46) from Oka, Quebec, with five (5) cases of contraband cigarettes. GABRIEL was later released and charged.
On April 9th, 2013, while conducting patrols in South Glengarry, Ontario, CRTF members noted suspicious activity occurring at a shoreline residence. As members converged on the noted property to investigate, one of the vehicles was stopped by police as it was leaving the property. Vehicle occupants, Alexander MILLAR (age 20) from Lancaster, Ontario and Devon BROWN (age 19) from South Glengarry, Ontario were detained pending further investigation. Police found approximately 824 kilograms of fine cut tobacco inside a detached garage on the property and one of the vehicles. It is alleged that MILLAR and BROWN were in the process of moving the tobacco when the CRTF arrived on scene. Along with the tobacco, two (2) vehicles were seized. Both, MILLAR and BROWN were arrested for the contraband tobacco and transported to Cornwall RCMP Detachment for processing. MILLAR was held in custody pending a bail hearing, while BROWN was released from custody on a Promise to Appear.
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 1-613-937-2800 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, Cornwall Community Police Service and the Ontario Ministry of Finance.
SOURCE: Cornwall Regional Task Force
For further information:
Sgt. Lee Côté
Sgt. Kristine Rae
Ontario Provincial Police