Tobacco task force smoked out plenty of bad guys in April

Tobacco task force smoked out plenty of bad guys in April
Fine cut tobacco seized in a previous CRTF operation.

CORNWALL, Ontario – The following is a release from the Cornwall Regional Task Force, detailing its activities in April.

In April, the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) members arrested seven individuals and the following items were seized:

– 1986.7 Kg of fine cut tobacco

– 11 cases and 131 baggies of cigarettes,

– Six cases of cigars, 206 grams of marijuana and three vehicles.

On April 1 the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) members were conducting surveillance on a garage located at 1123 Ontario Street in Cornwall.

A vehicle that left the location was subsequently stopped and found to contain contraband tobacco. Officers obtained a search warrant for the garage and located a several baggies of unstamped tobacco.

Also located was an amount of marihuana and several empty “dime bags” in preparation for distribution.

Marcel Campeau, 62, of Cornwall was charged under the Excise Act 2001, as well as for Possession of Marihuana for the Purpose of Trafficking under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. A total of 131 baggies of contraband tobacco worth $2,882, and approximately 200 grams of marihuana were seized.

Campeau makes his first court appearance on June 2, 2015, in Cornwall.

On April 7 members of the CRTF were assisting Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with a vehicle that had run the port of entry (POE) a few days prior and was re-located at 318 First Street West, Cornwall.

An investigation revealed that the vehicle was driven by 35-year-old Cory Benedict of Akwesasne. While investigating this incident, Mr. Benedict arrived at the residence driving a bicycle with a large duffle bag on his back and a smaller bag on his front. The bags were passed to a female at the residence and brought into the house.

Confirmation was received from the Port of Entry (POE) that a male matching the description of Mr. Benedict passed their

location without stopping at customs moments prior to his arrival at the house.

Benedict was arrested for failing to report directly to the Port of Entry and a consent search was conducted at the residence. The bags locate in the residence contained contraband tobacco, and Benedict was subsequently arrested.

At the time of his arrest he was also found to be in breach of his conditions and was charged with two counts of Breach. There were a total of 50 cartons of contraband tobacco seized with a value of $1,100. The bicycle and the vehicle Benedict was driving were seized by the CBSA. Benedict was held for bail and is still in custody.

On April 9 CRTF members attended the POE for a male in possession of contraband tobacco and unstamped cigars. Arrested and charged under the Excise Act 2001, was 26-year-old Shawn Fontaine of Long Sault. The officers seized a total of 210.7 kg of fine cut tobacco, and 6 cases of cigars. Also seized was Fontaine’s 2007 pick-up truck. Fontaine was released on scene and made his first court appearance on May 5 in Cornwall.

CBSA officers requested the attendance of the CRTF members at the POE on April 11 as they had two males detained with a large sum of money. The cash totaled less than $10,000 and there were also vials of marihuana seeds located in the vehicle.

The males were subsequently released as they were able to prove that they were legitimately in possession of the cash. There was a total of 6 grams of marijuana seeds that were seized, and no charges have been laid at this time.

Members of the CRTF were called to the Port of Entry on April 15 for a male that was is possession of contraband tobacco. Upon attendance, 50-year-old Louis Wayne Jacobs of St Regis was in custody. Officers arrested Jacobs and he was charged under Section 32(1) of the Excise Act, 2001.

CRTF members seized the tobacco as well as the 2004 vehicle that he Jacobs was driving. There were a total of 10 cases of unstamped tobacco with a value of $11,000. Jacobs was subsequently released on a Promise to Appear (PTA) with a court date of May 19, 2015, in Cornwall.

On April 21 CRTF officers were conducting surveillance in the Bainsville area when they noticed a boat without navigation lights leaving the shoreline. A short time later a U-Haul truck was seen leaving the vicinity eastbound on Hwy 2, Bainsville.

The vehicle was stopped not long after, and found to contain several garbage bags filled with fine cut tobacco. There was a total of 1,710 kg of tobacco that was seized along with the U-Haul truck.

The driver of the vehicle, 55-year-old Michel Belanger of Ste-Barbe, Quebec, and the passenger, 24-year-old Everick Radcliffe of Longueuil, Quebec, were both arrested and charged with Possession of Unstamped Tobacco, under the Excise Act 2001.

They were released on a Promise to Appear with Undertakings and return to court in Cornwall on June 2, 2015. The total value of the tobacco seized is $153,900.

While members of the CRTF were conducting a follow up investigation on April 23, 2015, in the South Glengarry area, they located five large garbage bags containing fine cut tobacco in the driveway at a residence on old Hwy 2. The garbage bags, which were in plain view, were seized and found to contain a total of 66 kg of tobacco. The investigation is ongoing.

On April 25, 2015 Carole Richmire, 55-years-old, was crossing through the POE in Cornwall and after being questioned by the CBSA officer, was the subject of a search of her vehicle. Located in the trunk of the vehicle was 1 (one) case of contraband tobacco.

RTF members attended the POE to arrested and charge Richmire of Morrisburg, Ontario under the Excise Act, 2001. Officers seized the case of tobacco, as well as the 2005 vehicle she was driving. The total value of the contraband tobacco seized was $1,100. Richmire was released on a PTA with a first appearance date of May 19, 2015, in Cornwall.

“As we can see, it is in partnership that we can be even more efficient,” said S/Sgt Sylvain Leroux, Acting Officer in Charge (OIC) of Cornwall RCMP. “With the nicer weather we would like to remind shoreline residents to remain vigilant and not hesitate to call your local police agency to report any suspicious activities.”

The individuals noted above, who have been charged under the provisions of the Excise Act, 2001, also face charges under the provincial Tobacco Tax Act for possession of unmarked cigarettes.

The CRTF would like to recognize and thank our CBSA partners at the Cornwall Port of Entry for their good work and collaboration on these files.

If you have any information regarding criminal activity in your area, you can contact the CRTF at 1-613-937-2800, Border Watch at 2-888-502-9060 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The CRTF is a joint forces partnership that includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Canada Border Services Agency, and the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

Share this article