CRTF Report Drug and Contraband Cigarette Seizures Over Past Few Months

CORNWALL, ON, Dec. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - During a patrol in the Township of South Glengarry in the early morning hours of December 11th, 2013, members of the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) observed a vessel approach the shoreline, however, could not discern the exact location.  Shortly after, members discovered and seized 30 cases of contraband cigarettes scattered along the shoreline.  CRTF members believe the contraband was hastily unloaded and no one approached to claim the product due to the police presence at that particular time.

On December 10th, 2013, CRTF members were called to Cornwall's Port of Entry (POE) to process a domestic contraband cigarette seizure.  Lorraine GAMBILL (age 62) and Forrester GAMBILL (age 40) were arrested and charged for possessing two (2) cases of contraband cigarettes.  Search of Lorraine GAMBILL revealed 20 oxycodone pills resulting in an additional drug possession charge.  Both accused were later released from custody on Promises to Appear.

While on patrol at dusk on November 21st, 2013, members of the CRTF observed a boat approaching an east end Cornwall marina without its navigational lights on.  As the boat was secured by its operator, CRTF members approached on foot to further their investigation.  It was discovered that the boat operator, the vessel's sole occupant, was in possession of four (4) kilograms of marihuana.  The male, identified as Shawn LEAF (age 38) from Akwesasne, Ontario, was arrested and charged for possession for the purposes of trafficking; obstruct police and property obtained by crime.  In addition, a sum of $980.00 in Canadian currency was also seized.  LEAF was brought to the RCMP Detachment where he was processed and released on a Promise to Appear.

During the early morning hours of November 18th, 2013, members of the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) observed a boat approach the shoreline in the South Glengarry area.  While the vessel was being unloaded, police moved in to arrest those involved.  CRTF members were met with resistance, however, the interaction resulted in the arrests of Jordan FRANCIS (age 29) of Snye, Quebec and a seventeen year old male who cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.  A third unidentified male avoided apprehension by fleeing the scene.

FRANCIS and the male youth were held for their respective bail hearings.  In addition to each being charged with Excise Act 2001 related offences, FRANCIS faces one (1) charge of assaulting a police officer and a charge of obstructing a police officer whereas the youth faces two additional counts of failing to comply with his Probation Order.  Police seized 100 cases of contraband cigarettes and a 2010 Orca Pro boat with a 300-hp Evinrude motor.

On the afternoon of November 12th, 2013, further to a joint investigation with CBSA and CRTF, members had occasion to stop a vehicle driven by Daniel ZAKREVSKY (age 47), from St. Eustache, Quebec.  The traffic stop occurred on the eastbound Highway 401 lanes in the South Glengarry area.  CRTF searched ZAKREVSKY's vehicle and located approximately 2.5 kilograms of marihuana.  ZAKREVSKY was arrested and searched which resulted in $13,000.00 Canadian currency being found on his person.  ZAKREVSKY faces a possession for the purposes of trafficking charge related to the drugs seized as well as a possession of property obtained by crime charge for the currency seized.  ZAKREVSKY was released from custody on his own Recognizance.

On November 1st, 2013, upon receiving an anonymous complaint that contraband cases of cigarettes were being moved from one vehicle to another in the City of Cornwall, the Cornwall Community Police Service (CCPS) attended the scene to investigate while notifying members of the CRTF of the incident.  Upon further investigation, the vehicle was searched by members of the CRTF revealing the presence of 73 cartons of contraband cigarettes.  Troy BENEDICT (age 37) from Hogansburg, NY, was arrested, processed at the Cornwall RCMP Detachment and later released from custody on his own Recognizance with a December 2013 first appearance date.

During the afternoon hours of October 28th, 2013, CBSA Port of Entry officials notified CRTF members of a port runner.  A port runner is an individual(s) who, upon return from the US, fail(s) to report with CBSA officials and evades questioning by not stopping his/her vehicle at the designated port of entry.  Information received led investigators to a Cornwall residence, where four (4) cases of contraband cigarettes were found on the house's deck.  Through investigation, the home owner claimed having no knowledge of the contraband or to whom the product belonged.  No charges have been laid in connection with this incident.  It is believed that the port runner removed the contraband from his/her vehicle to avoid possible prosecution.

On the morning of October 22, 2013, an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer stopped a vehicle on Hwy 401 for a speeding infraction.  This traffic stop led to the arrest of the driver for being in possession of contraband tobacco.  Upon discovery of the contraband, the CRTF was notified.  Mark DELORME (age 25) from Cornwall, Ontario, was arrested and charged for being in possession of seven (7) cases of contraband tobacco.  DELORME's vehicle, a 2006 Chevrolet Impala, along with the contraband was seized.

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:

Cst. Jean Juneau
Cornwall RTF
613-937-2800, ext. 258

Sgt. Kristine Rae 
Ontario Provincial Police

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