CORNWALL, ON, Feb. 19, 2015 /CNW/ - On December 9, 2014, Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) members were conducting surveillance of the St Lawrence River in the Bainsville area. Officers observed a vessel travelling eastbound in the channel of the St Lawrence River at a high rate of speed, without navigation lights and two individuals on board. The vessel approached the Ontario shoreline near County Road 2 in Bainsville. Shortly after, the boat left the area with the two people on board, and the CRTF members deployed in the area. They located a large pile of black garbage bags where the boat had left from and sometime later, a pickup truck arrived on scene with two males. They started transferring the garbage bags into the box of the truck. Police moved in to arrest the individuals, but they fled. One individual was apprehended after a short foot pursuit. The second male left the area in the truck. Officers were able to determine, through investigation, the identity of the second individual and he was apprehended at his residence a short time later. There were 116 garbage bags containing fine cut tobacco, with a total weight of 3,329.8 kgs. Police also seized the pickup truck. The names of the individuals cannot be released as they are Young persons. Both males were released on a Promise to Appear (PTA). Their next court appearance is March 4, 2015, in Alexandria, and their parents were notified.
Members of the SD&G OPP were in the area of 5th Line Road and North Service Road on December 11, 2014, where they had been conducting a R.I.D.E. check program. While questioning a male subject driving a pickup truck, the male offered police to check the truck. Officers noted that the windows were painted black which is a common method used to conceal contraband in a vehicle. Police released the male but continued their checks in the area as the route the subject was on is well known for moving and storing contraband tobacco. The officers attended an abandoned property known for facilitating smuggling and observed fresh footprints in the snow, along with two (2) large garbage bags and confirmed there was fine cut tobacco inside. Further onto the property, they observed a second pile of garbage bags containing fine cut tobacco. They contacted the CRTF members who attended the scene, and seized the contraband. There was a total of 38 garbage bags containing fine cut tobacco that were seized with a total weight of 654 kgs. No charges have been laid.
On January 19, 2015, the CRTF members were conducting surveillance in the Bainsville area and observed two snow machines without headlights heading eastbound with loaded toboggans. The two suspects realized that the officers were closing in on them, unhooked their loads and evaded apprehension. The officers then seized the toboggans that contained a total of 711.90 kgs of fine cut tobacco. No charges have been laid.
Just before midnight on January 24, 2015, CRTF members were patrolling the South Glengarry area when they observed three (3) snow machines that appeared to be towing tubs travelling along the south shore. The snow machines then made their way towards Bainsville, extinguishing their headlamps in the process. Police tracked the suspects as they made their way past 4th Line Road. As the officers got closer to the smugglers, they unhooked the attached tubs and made a hasty retreat. Police attempted to stop the suspects, but they managed to evade the officers. The items the subjects left behind were twenty four (24) large garbage bags containing fine cut tobacco and the towable tub. A total of 522 kgs of fine cut tobacco and the tub were seized at the scene. No charges have been laid.
On January 28, 2015, the members of the CRTF were called in after CBSA officers performing a secondary examination on a traveler found cases of undeclared cigarettes. David COLON Jr, a 27 year old man from Akwesasne, was charged under the Excise Act, 2001, for Possession of Unstamped Tobacco. The 2006 Chrysler 300 and the five cases of tobacco were seized. COLON was released on a Promise to Appear with a first appearance date of March 10, 2015, in Cornwall.
"The CRTF members have been working hard through the winter months as they continue to seize significant amounts of contraband tobacco", said Inspector Tim Kimpan, Officer in Charge of Cornwall Detachment.
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, Ontario Provincial Police, Canada Border Services Agency, and the Ontario Ministry of Finance.
SOURCE Cornwall Regional Task Force
For further information: Contacts: Cst. Jean Juneau, Cornwall RTF, 613-937-2800, ext. 258; Sgt. Kristine Rae, Ontario Provincial Police, 613-285-5479