Law Enforcement Team Up to nab Cigarette Smugglers

Joint Operation With CBSA, OPP and RCMP Results in Contraband Tobacco Seizures

    SOUTH GLENGARRY, ON, March 26 /CNW/ - Officers from the Cornwall RCMP
Detachment with officers from the Canada Border Services Agency and the
Ontario Provincial Police worked together on a joint operation targeting those
who transport contraband cigarettes from the Cornwall region towards the
Province of Quebec.
    On March 25th, 2009, an officer from CBSA observed a 2002 Chrysler Neon
travel from Akwesasne, Ontario towards Cornwall. RCMP officers from the
Cornwall RCMP Detachment stopped the vehicle on South Branch Road in Cornwall.
Officers observed cardboard boxes of contraband cigarettes inside the vehicle.
The driver, identified as Jeffrey Leblanc, a 19 year old male resident from
Cornwall, Ontario, was arrested and charged with possession of a tobacco
product not properly stamped according to the Excise Act 2001 as well as for
the Criminal Code charge for breaching a probation order. He was held in
custody for a bail hearing at the Cornwall court. RCMP officers seized 750
resealable bags of contraband cigarettes as well as the vehicle.
    On the same date, an officer from CBSA observed a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu
travel from Akwesasne, Ontario towards Cornwall. RCMP officers stopped the
vehicle on Highway 401 eastbound in South Glengarry, Ontario. Officers
observed cardboard boxes of contraband cigarettes inside the vehicle and
seized 1,000 resealable bags of contraband cigarettes as well as 50 cartons of
Discount Light brand cigarettes. The vehicle was also seized. The 28 year old
male driver from Cornwall, Ontario 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 the Alexandria court on May 6th, 2009.
    Finally, during the same operation, a CBSA officer observed a 2002 GMC
Yukon and a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up truck travel together from Akwesasne,
Ontario towards Cornwall. OPP and RCMP officers stopped both vehicles on
Highway 401 eastbound in South Glengarry, Ontario. The RCMP officers seized
850 resealable bags of contraband cigarettes as well as 1,400 cartons of
Discount Menthol Light brand cigarettes from the 2002 GMC Yukon and 1,500
resealable bags of contraband cigarettes from the 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up
truck. Both vehicles were also seized. The driver of the Yukon, an 18 year old
male resident of Norfolk, New York, was arrested and faces a charge for
possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped according to the Excise
Act 2001. He was also issued Highway Traffic Act tickets from the OPP for
using a licence plate not authorized for the vehicle, using a defaced
validation sticker, failing to surrender his driver's licence as well as for
failing to surrender an insurance card under authority of the Compulsory
Automobile Insurance Act. The driver of the Dodge Ram pick-up truck,
identified as a young person under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, faces the
same charge under authority of the Excise Act 2001. Both will appear at the
Alexandria court on May 6th, 2009.
    "We believe that the general public may not be aware that these
contraband cigarettes are illegal to possess in Canada", said Sgt. Michael
Harvey from the RCMP.

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