Cornwall ON – Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) along with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have seized approx 1800 pounds of frozen poultry product which was smuggled into Canada from the USA. The investigation, which included the execution of a search warrant at a local Cornwall residence, is ongoing at this time and charges are pending. The boxes containing the illicit poultry were marked “unfit for human consumption” by the US authorities.
This investigation commenced on February 4th, 2011, when CBSA officers working at the Cornwall Port of Entry conducted a check of a suspect vehicle returning to Canada from the USA. CBSA officers located an undisclosed amount of chicken, which bore no stamps and was not refrigerated.
Upon further investigation, a search warrant was executed at a Cornwall residence, resulting in the arrest of another suspect and large quantity of chicken.
The total amount of chicken seized was 820 kilograms (1804 pounds). CRTF members and CBSA officers noted strong rancid odors emanating from the vehicle where the chicken was located, thereby suggesting the chicken was not fit for human consumption. Most of the chicken had begun to thaw and was being stored in a non-refrigerated vehicle.
As the vehicle seized at the Port of Entry was registered in St Eustache, Quebec, it is believed that the chicken was destined for the Quebec market, location unknown. The investigation thus far indicates that the chicken had not been inspected in either the USA or Canada, and the suspects in this case have been unable to produce any permits enabling them to have this chicken in their possession.
Two (2) males have been arrested in relation to this investigation and will be charged under Sec. 159 of the Customs Act and Sec. 9 of the Meat Inspection Act.
Cst. Juneau further stated: “This type of investigation, although not usual, is very serious. CRTF members, along with our partners, will continue to investigate criminal activities that could affect the safety and well being of our country and its citizens. In this matter, the meat was not processed in a federal establishment. In the absence of proper inspection protocols, there are no guarantees on how the chicken was handled, including during its transportation. The distribution of uninspected meat could have been very serious ramifications.”
The CRTF is a joint forces partnership including the RCMP, CBSA, OPP, MOR and CCPS.