Smugglers escape custody by taking a swim: police

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A van, seized by the Cornwall Regional Task Force, is shown filled with contraband.

CORNWALL, Ontario – A pair of smugglers made a run for it – make that 'swim' for it – when police descended on an illicit operation in progress.

The Cornwall Regional Task Force, made up of regional police agencies, busted up a smuggling operation in progress near the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Cornwall.

A pair of baddies, who were operating a boat filled with contraband, were helping the driver of a van load his vehicle with the product when police arrived.

The boaters quickly jumped into the water and swam to their vessel to escape.

Police arrested the van driver.

The van was found to contain 35 black plastic garbage bags of fine cut tobacco weighing a total of 471 kg. The van driver, Michael Durocher, 29, of Cornwall, was arrested, and escorted to the Cornwall RCMP Detachment where he was processed and later released from custody on a promise to appear.  The van, a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander, and contraband were seized.

The incident took place early on the morning of July 12, and unbeknownst to the individuals police had been watching the whole time.

Police said both the van and the boat were operating in the area without lighting, which drew suspicion.

Geographic location: CORNWALL, Ontario

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