CORNWALL, ON, Nov. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - On October 5, 2014 members of the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) apprehended three males in the South Glengarry area who were allegedly involved in smuggling illegal tobacco. David BILODEAU, age 30 of Courselles, QC, along with Yannick HENLEY-FRANCOEUR, age 29 of Saint Anicet, QC, and Eric HENLEY-FRANCOEUR, age 21 of Cazaville, QC were arrested and charged for possession of 3,500 baggies of illegal cigarettes. Officers also seized a 1998 GMC Sierra Pickup and a 1996 Yamaha motorcycle. Further investigation revealed that Yannick HENLEY-FRANCOEUR is currently waiting disposition for drug charges out of Quebec as well tobacco related offences out of Valleyfield, Quebec. He will remain in custody until his next court appearance on December 2, 2014. The other 2 males will appear in court on January 7, 2015.
On October 13, 2014 the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) members were patrolling the South Glengarry area when they observed suspicious activities along the shore line of the St Lawrence River. Officers observed males moving what appeared to be large garbage bags from a dock into an outbuilding on a waterfront property. The officers moved in to arrest the males and both fled the scene. A pursuit of the suspects ensued and a short distance away, officers apprehended Eric LEPAGE age 35 of Lachine, Quebec. Assistance from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) K-9 unit was sought, and the K-9 unit was able to track and locate Alain LEMONDE age 36, also of Lachine, Quebec. The males were charged under the Excise Act, 2001. The CRTF members located and seized 280 bags of fine cut tobacco weighing a total of 3,865 kilograms. In addition, LEPAGE was charged with 2 counts of fail to comply with a court order.
On October 22, 2014, members of the CRTF also seized a total of 4 garbage bags of fine cut tobacco that were abandoned on the side of a campground road. The total weight of the tobacco was approximately 61 kilograms. There were no suspects in this investigation.
The individuals noted above, have been charged under the provisions of the Excise Act, 2001, and they also face charges under the Provincial Tobacco Tax Act for possession of unmarked cigarettes.
"The smuggling of illegal tobacco in any form is a criminal activity that has major consequences which may include imprisonment" said Inspector Kimpan, Officer-in-Charge of the CRTF. "Some young individuals will now have their future seriously impacted by their actions. We encourage everyone to find out more about the seriousness of these criminal activities."
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, Ontario Provincial Police, Akwesasne Mohawk Police, Canada Border Services Agency 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, 613-285-5479