WINDSOR, ON, Nov. 8 /CNW/ - Officers from the Ontario Racing Commission's Equine Medication & Controlled Drug Task Force who are seconded from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) have charged three Windsor residents as a result of an investigation into the use of non-therapeutic, performance enhancing substances on Ontario race horses.
On November 7, 2010 OPP officers from OCEB, as well as the Essex OPP detachment, the Windsor Police Service and the OPP Assets Forfeiture Unit, assisted the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) Task Force members and Special Constables in the execution of search warrants at a Windsor residence and a Tecumseh horse stable.
|The OPP has charged:||1) Christopher HASKELL, age 33 of Windsor|
|2) Cassie NANTAIS, age 24 of Windsor and|
|3) Derek RIESBERRY, age 40 of Tecumseh.|
The accused have all been charged with one count each of cheat at play, fraud, and offences under the Pari-mutuel (betting) regulations of the Criminal Code. All charged persons have been released on an Undertaking which prohibits involvement in horse racing. They are to appear in Windsor court on January 5, 2011.
In addition to the charges, police seized drugs, medications and documents related to the criminal investigation, as well as offence related property including business vehicles and horse trailers.
Horse racing in Ontario is one of the most closely monitored and regulated sports in Canada. The vigilance is based on a philosophy of intelligence-led regulation, and the unique partnership of the racing community, the OPP, and the ORC. As a result, Ontario is recognized as a world leader of investigations into criminal and regulatory offences related to horse racing.
The investigation is continuing and police encourage anyone with knowledge of criminal activity to contact their local police or Crime stoppers.
Ontario Horse Racing
- Ontario is the largest horse racing jurisdiction in North America, and horse racing is the third largest agricultural-based industry in our province
- There are 17 racetracks throughout the province, providing 60,000 direct jobs and over $1 billion in legitimate wagering, a figure which represents 65 per cent of all legitimate horse race wagering in Canada
- The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) is an arm's-length agency of the Ontario government that is responsible for regulating the industry to ensure the integrity of horse racing
- The ORC licenses racetracks and the close to 30,000 people who are involved in thoroughbred, standardbred and quarter horse racing
- Horse racing in Ontario is one of the most closely regulated and monitored sports in Canada
- With the support of the horse racing community, over the past 5 years the ORC has increased its investigation and medication control efforts. It has sent a strong message to all people working in racing - the acquisition, possession and administration of illegal and non-therapeutic drugs, or any criminal activity will not be tolerated
- To protect the integrity of this sport, the racing industry funds the ORC Equine Medication Control and Drug Task Force (EMC&DTF). Comprised of an analyst and seven investigators - four of whom are seconded from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). Their role is to detect, deter and prosecute those involved with illicit drug distribution within the industry. This often involves law enforcement outside of Canada.
- The vigilance is based on a philosophy of intelligence-led regulation, and the unique partnership of the racing community, the OPP, and the ORC. As a result, Ontario is recognized as a world leader of investigations into criminal and regulatory offences related to horse racing.
- The ORC will co-operate with, support, and follow this criminal investigation as required.
- The individuals charged hold an ORC license to work in Ontario horse racing. As a result, the ORC has commenced a regulatory investigation into the status of their privilege to hold such a license.
For further information: For further information:
Det/Sgt. Steve Schandlen OPP / ORC
Phone: (705) 735 - 4702