Here are your tobacco busts of the week from Michael Harvey of the RCMP:
The following details are seizures from October 22nd to October 29th, 2009. A total of 2,800 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes and arrested four people:
On October 23rd, 2009, an officer from the Ontario Provincial Police observed a 1998 Ford Escort suspiciously parked in a wooded area north of the St. Lawrence River in Cornwall, Ontario. When the officer approached the vehicle, both the driver and passenger exited the vehicle and fled on foot into the woods, the officer then observed several garbage bags containing contraband cigarettes in the vehicle. Officers from the Cornwall RCMP Detachment were contacted to assist. 750 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes were seized and the investigation continues.
On October 26th, 2009, an officer from the Cornwall Community Police Service attempted to stop a 1997 Pontiac Transport van on Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall, Ontario. The driver made a U-turn and drove to Akwesasne, Ontario. The Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service was contacted and attempted to stop the van but the driver evaded police and drove at a high rate of speed. The suspect vehicle was later found in a ditch on McCumber Road and contained contraband cigarettes. The driver and passenger, both defined as youths under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, were arrested. The driver faces charges by the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service for flight from police and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. The RCMP were contacted and seized a total of 1,750 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes. Both of the youths face RCMP charges for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped and will be in court at a later date.
On October 26th, 2009, officers from the Canada Border Services Agency at the Cornwall Port of Entry inspected a 1995 Oldsmobile Aurora when they located a false compartment inside the trunk. Officers removed the rear seat and located contraband tobacco hidden in the compartment. RCMP officers attended and seized 150 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes. The 19 year old male driver from Hogansburg, New York was arrested and faces a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped and will be in court at a later date.
On October 27th, 2009, officers from the Canada Border Services Agency located at the Cornwall Port of Entry inspected a 1996 Chevrolet Blazer and observed contraband cigarettes in the rear of the vehicle. RCMP officers attended and seized 150 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes. The 29 year old male driver from Akwesasne, Ontario was arrested and faces a charge for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped and will be in court at a later date.
“Law enforcement has noticed an increase in the presence of organized crime groups from various provinces and cities setting up in the Cornwall area”, said Sgt. Michael Harvey of the RCMP. “We continue to monitor these groups and will disrupt any illicit activities they may be involved with. The RCMP continue to deploy vessels on the St. Lawrence River and are present on the highways and secluded roadways to prevent criminal activity”.
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