Smug­glers lead cops on wild chases

The Glengarry News - - Front Page -

Wa­ter­front res­i­dents have helped the Corn­wall Re­gional Task Force seize two tonnes of con­tra­band to­bacco in two weeks.

“In June, the CRTF and its partners con­ducted a door-to-door cam­paign, speak­ing to most res­i­dents along the St. Lawrence River shore­line from Corn­wall to the Québec bor­der,” says Insp. Steve Ethier, Of­fi­cer in Charge of the task force. “As a re­sult, we have been re­ceiv­ing on­go­ing calls from con­cerned cit­i­zens when they sus­pect crime is oc­cur­ring in their neigh­bour­hoods. I would like to thank the pub­lic for their con­tin­ued as­sis­tance and sup­port.”

Over the past month, of­fi­cers have been in­volved in chases on land and wa­ter, end­ing in the con­fis­ca­tion of large quan­ti­ties of smokes and the ar­rest of al­leged smug­glers. Some pur­suits have re­sem­bled TV scripts. For in­stance, July 20, a high-speed in­ter­provin­cial chase en­sued when CRTF mem­bers, work­ing in part­ner­ship with Val­ley­field RCMP mem­bers, ob­served a dark duck-style ves­sel with a large out­board mo­tor trav­el­ling east on the St. Lawrence River. When the boat landed in Bainsville, a 2006 Ford Ex­plorer was seen speed­ing away on County Road 2. The boat then sped away. The po­lice marine unit at­tempted to in­ter­cept the ves­sel, how­ever, it re­fused to stop for au­thor­i­ties.

Tossed from ve­hi­cle

As po­lice tried to stop the truck as it crossed into Québec, the driver be­gan toss­ing out large garbage bags filled with con­tra­band. The CRTF mem­bers dis­en­gaged, fol­low­ing the ve­hi­cle at a dis­tance, and sought as­sis­tance from mem­bers of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).

As SQ of­fi­cers at­tempted to stop the Ex­plorer, the op­er­a­tor kept throw­ing bags of con­tra­band to­bacco from his ve­hi­cle. The driver even­tu­ally lost con­trol of the ve­hi­cle and ended up in a ditch in the Val­ley­field area. The driver fled on foot but was later ap­pre­hended with the as­sis­tance of the RCMP ca­nine unit. A 24-year-old man from the Ak­we­sasne, Québec area, was charged with pos­ses­sion of con­tra­band to­bacco, dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle and flight from po­lice.

In ad­di­tion to the Ex­plorer, 25 bags con­taining 390 kilo­grams of il­le­gal to­bacco were seized.

Just af­ter mid­night July 25, at Corn­wall’s Port of En­try Erica Fran­cis, 24, from Ak­we­sasne, On­tario and Adam Bomberry, 22, of Ak­we­sasne, N.Y., were ar­rested for hav­ing in their pos­ses­sion 20 kilo­grams of un­stamped flavoured pipe to­bacco. A 2010 Mercedes GLK350 was seized along with the con­tra­band.

On the evening of July 26, while on pa­trol in South Glen­garry, of­fi­cers ob­served a white

van backed to the St. Lawrence River wa­ter’s edge. Po­lice dis­cov­ered the van was loaded with 800 kilo­grams of con­tra­band fine cut to­bacco. A 36-yearold Val­ley­field man was ar­rested.

July 19 the CRTF was no­ti­fied of sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity at a shore­line South Glen­garry res­i­dence. As of­fi­cers ar­rived, they saw a ve­hi­cle de­part­ing, with­out its head­lights on.

When po­lice stopped the 2002 Pon­tiac Mon­tana, two men fled. Joey Bouchard, 18, from StS­tanis­las-De- Kostka, Québec, was ap­pre­hended fol­low­ing a short foot pur­suit.

The sec­ond sus­pect was suc- cess­ful in avoid­ing cap­ture -- for nine days.

In ad­di­tion to the van, 48 garbage bags con­taining con­tra­band fine cut to­bacco, weigh­ing 740 kilo­grams, were seized.

July 28, sub­se­quent to fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the CRTF ar­rested the sec­ond sus­pect, a mi­nor from the Orm­stown, Québec area.

If you have any in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing this crime or any other crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in your area, con­tact your lo­cal po­lice ser­vice or reach out to an in­ves­ti­ga­tor with the CRTF at 1-613937-2800 or 1-800-387-0020.

The CRTF is a joint forces part­ner­ship that in­cludes the Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice, On­tario Provin­cial Po­lice, and the On­tario Min­istry of Fi­nance. The task force re­ceives on­go­ing as­sis­tance from the SQ.

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