BIG CIGARETTE BUST + Local Tobacco Round Up
Four individuals were arrested in Canada, and one in the United States. A total of 6,500 cartons of untaxed contraband cigarettes, two boats, two boat trailers, four vehicles and approximately $27,000.00 in Canadian currency was seized. A portion of the seized contraband cigarettes had been smuggled across the St. Lawrence River from the United States into Canada.
St. LAURENT ( Age 48 ) of Gatineau, Quebec. Arrested in the United States and charged with possession of cocaine and hashish was John Lee RANKIN (Age 34) of Nepean, Ontario. RANKIN was arraigned in the Town of Alexandria Court and sent to Jefferson County jail. Additional state and federal charges are pending.
All four individuals arrested in Canada have been charged with Customs and Excise offences relating to the possession and smuggling of prohibited goods. Ali AFFAT and Andrea D’AVIERO were released on bail on October 6, 2009 and Robert St. LAURENT was released October 13, 2009 in Kingston, Ontario. Eric STILES is currently being held pending bail and will appear in Kingston Court on October 16, 2009.
The 1000 Islands Integrated Border Enforcement Team is one (1) of fifteen (15) Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) across the country located along our International Border with the United States. They provide a federally mandated response to National Security and criminality along the longest undefended border in the world.
RCMP is the lead agency in the province of Ontario for the IBET teams that have been established for border security and front line law enforcement along the Canada/US border from the Province of Quebec to the Province of Manitoba. The 1000 Islands IBET plays a vital role in meeting the RCMP’s mandate for safe homes and safe communities by directly targeting two of the RCMP’s five Strategic Priorities, these being Organized Crime and Terrorism. To combat these elements the IBET team is tasked with operating anywhere along the border between the Ports of Entry.
The public is reminded that they can provide information relating to any criminal activity by contacting the Provincial Crime Stoppers agency confidential tip line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
The following details are seizures from October 7th to October 15th, 2009. A total of 2,400 cartons/re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes,3 vehicles were seized and four people arrested:
On October 7th, 2009, an officer from the Cornwall Community Police Service observed a 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van parked close to the St. Lawrence River in the City of Cornwall. The officer approached on foot and observed a male run into the bushes. Cornwall Police officers then located the male lying in the bushes trying to evade police. Officers searched the vehicle and located several cardboard boxes of contraband cigarettes. Officers from the Cornwall RCMP Detachment were contacted to assist. RCMP officers seized 900 cartons of Montagne filter brand cigarettes, 500 cartons of Discount brand cigarettes as well as the van. A 57 year old male resident from Grenville-Sur-La-Rouge, Quebec was arrested and faces a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped according to the Excise Act 2001. He will appear at court at a later date.
On October 9th, 2009, an officer from the Ontario Provincial Police stopped a 1994 Chrysler LHS on Highway 401 eastbound in South Glengarry, Ontario. While the officer was verifying documents, he detected a strong odour of tobacco and a package of contraband cigarettes was in view of the officer. Officers from the Cornwall RCMP Detachment were contacted to assist. The RCMP seized 350 cartons of Discount brand cigarettes, 200 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes as well as the vehicle. The 51 year old male driver from Saint-Eustache, Quebec and the 53 year old male passenger from Pointe-Calumet, Quebec were arrested and face charges for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped according to the Excise Act 2001. The passenger also faces a charge for possession of a prohibited weapon as he was found with a can of Sabre Capsicine dog repellant. They will appear at court at a later date.
If you have any questions please call me at my coordinates below.
Sgt. Michael Harvey
Cornwall RCMP Detachment