CORNWALL – Crimebeat – On the evening hours of June 14th, 2012, while on patrol on the St. Lawrence River, South Glengarry, Ontario, Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) members observed a vessel heading eastbound in the main shipping channel. Upon detection of police presence, the suspect vessel hid on the eastern side of Butternut Island. In an unsuccessful attempt to flee police when CRTF members approached, the suspect vessel sustained motor damage. Vessel occupants, Jason KING (age 47) and Alexander THOMPSON (age 24), both from Hogansburg, NY, were arrested and transported to RCMP Detachment for processing. KING and THOMPSON were charged with being in possession of contraband cigarettes and failing to comply with their respective undertakings. Seized during this incident were: 21′ Orca fiberglass vessel with an Evinrude 200 hp motor, and 50 cases of contraband cigarettes.
In the early morning hours of June 17th, 2012, CRTF members noted a suspicious vehicle travelling north on McConnell Avenue in the Cornwall’s north end. Members followed this vehicle to a self-storage facility on McConnell Avenue. Upon closer examination, members observed a male and a female standing beside an open storage locker. Members on scene were able to observe in plain view a large amount of clothing in the couple’s possession. After an initial investigation, the male, 52, and a female, 48, both from Cornwall, Ontario, were arrested for possible Copyright Act infringement and transported to Cornwall RCMP Detachment for processing. Thousands of articles of clothing bearing brand names such as Harley-Davidson, Hurley, Billabong, Element, Adidas, to name a few, was seized during this incident. Police believe the clothing to be counterfeit property. As this investigation is ongoing, no charges have yet been filed.
On June 17th, 2012, at approximately 4:00 pm, CRTF members were called to Cornwall’s Port of Entry (POE), where CBSA members had arrested Skyler CROUSE (age 23), from Fort Covington, NY, for possession of unstamped tobacco products. A search of the CROUSE’s vehicle resulted in 200 cartons of contraband cigarettes being seized. He was turned over to CRTF members for processing and charged for being in possession of contraband cigarettes. The conveyance along with the contraband product was seized during this investigation.
In the early morning hours of June 25th, 2012, while conducting surveillance in the Lancaster, Ontario area for possible smuggling activities, CRTF members observed an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) towing an enclosed cargo trailer travelling eastbound on the old Raisin River Campground Road. This ATV, which was accompanied by a second ATV, was travelling at a high rate of speed without lights. CRTF members assisted by the Lancaster OPP setup a check point at the intersection of Fraser Road and old Raisin River Campground Road to intercept the ATVs upon their return westbound. A short time later, the ATV towing the cargo trailer was observed travelling westbound approaching Fraser Road followed by the second ATV not far behind. The members activated their emergency lights of their marked police in order to intercept the suspects.
The driver of the first ATV accelerated towards members standing near their police vehicles and struck a fully marked police vehicle head on, sustaining extensive damage. The driver fled the scene entering the wooded area but was located shortly thereafter by a RCMP canine. The driver was identified as Jonathan JASPER (age 21), from Williamstown, Ontario. The driver of the second ATV was not apprehended however the ATV he was driving was recovered a short distance away from the incident. Police checks conducted on both ATVs revealed that they had been reported stolen by their rightful owners. JASPER was arrested and charged for the possession of unstamped tobacco, possession of property obtained by crime, assault police officer and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. He was released from police custody on a Promise to Appear. A total of 80 cases of contraband cigarettes, along with a Wells Cargo utility trailer, were seized. The 2006 Polaris Sportsman 450 and the John Deere Gator were seized but will be turned over to the appropriate insurance company.
On July 2nd, 2012, at approximately 2:30 pm, CRTF members were once again called upon by CBSA officers at Cornwall’s Port of Entry. CBSA officers had arrested driver, Kelsey JACKSON (aged 24) and passenger, Samantha SKIDDERS (age 24), both from Akwesasne, Ontario, for possession of unstamped tobacco products. A search of their vehicle resulted in 300 cartons of contraband cigarettes being seized. JACKSON and SKIDDERS were turned over to CRTF members for processing and were charged with being in possession of contraband cigarettes. The conveyance, a 2007 Chevrolet Impala, and contraband product were seized during this collaborative enforcement effort.
On July 5th, 2012 at approximately 9:00 pm, CRTF members were conducting surveillance near the St-Lawrence Canal in Cornwall and observed four individuals in a canoe paddling to the bike path on the south side of the canal. Members allowed the suspects to make four trips across before moving in. As the CRTF members converged on scene and announced their presence, all subjects fled the scene in different directions. Three of the culprits, later identified as Richard CHARLEBOIS (age 51), Jonathan CHARLEBOIS (age 24) and Calynda PARENT (age 20) all from Cornwall, Ontario, were apprehended and arrested. All three were brought to Cornwall RCMP Detachment where they were processed and released on a Promise to Appear and undertaking to appear in court at a later date. On July 12th, 2012, the fourth member of this group, Jonathan LADOUCEUR (age 19), from Cornwall, Ontario, was also arrested for his involvement in this matter after attending RCMP Detachment to retrieve his Blackberry which was found and seized at the scene on July 5th, 2012. All four individuals have been charged for being in possession of contraband tobacco products. A canoe and forty-one (41) cases of contraband cigarettes were seized.
On July 11th, 2012, while walking a dog on the grounds of the NAV Centre, a concerned citizen contacted the Cornwall Community Police Service to report the presence of seven hockey bags full of contraband cigarettes. CRTF members were dispatched to the area for further investigation. In total, twenty cases were seized.
Later that day, while scouring the shoreline in the Bainsville, Ontario, area, CRTF members located two pickup trucks loaded with fine cut tobacco at a shoreline property. The pickup trucks (2003 Silverado and 1993 Chevrolet) along with approximately 700 kilograms of fine cut tobacco were seized.
On July 12th, 2012, at approximately 11:00 pm, as a result of surveillance along the shores of the St. Lawrence River, in the Summerstown, Ontario area, CRTF members observed suspicious activity. As members approached the site a male, later identified as Timothy MCCORMICK (age 31) from Cornwall, Ontario, attempted to flee the scene but was quickly apprehended by police. MCCORMICK was transported to the RCMP Detachment for processing. As a result of this incident, MCCORMICK has been charged with being in possession of eleven (11) cases of contraband cigarettes, breaching his Probation Order and breaching his Recognizance. He was held in custody pending his bail hearing.
On July 13th, 2012, CRTF members set up surveillance in the Summerstown area and observed a suspicious pickup truck. They observed the front male passenger exit the vehicle and surreptitiously walk up to a camping trailer and remove what appeared to be five boxes of contraband from it. The noted male was able to place one of the cases into the truck before a light set off by a motion sensor spooked them. The truck departed the area and was stopped by CRTF members a short distance from the residence. Members confirmed that the occupants had in their possession one case of contraband cigarettes, and placed the driver, identified as Lawrence COMPEAU (age 39) and the passenger, John BREYER (age 25), both from Cornwall, Ontario, under arrest for being in possession of the contraband product. COMPEAU and BREYER were transported to the RCMP Detachment where they were processed, charged with being in possession of contraband cigarettes and later released from custody.
Later that day, based on this occurrence and this seizure, members executed a search warrant at the noted property. While executing the search warrant, two males, identified as Michael MORENCY (age 23) and Justin MACDONALD (age 23), both from Cornwall, Ontario were arrested and found to be in possession of twenty cases of contraband tobacco product along with $12,100 in Canadian currency. They were both escorted to the RCMP Detachment for processing and later released from custody by way of a Promise to Appear. Chantal BRETON (age 47) from South Glengarry area has also been charged in connection with this incident.
On July 17th, 2012, while the SD&G OPP were conducting a R.I.D.E. program on Boundary Road, north of Highway 401, they observed a van parked on the overpass. An OPP officer approached the van for further investigation and found it to be unoccupied. The OPP Sergeant on duty dispatched other Units to the area and with the help of a passing motorist, located a suspicious male in the Glendale Subdivision. This individual was detained and escorted back to the scene. CRTF members arrived at the location and confirmed the contraband, and arrested the male, identified as Adam JARVIS (age 29) from Cornwall, Ontario. JARVIS was transported to RCMP Detachment for processing, where he was charged with being in possession of contraband product. The van along with 30 cases of contraband cigarettes was seized.
On the same date, at approximately 2:00 am, CRTF members were summoned to Cornwall’s Port of Entry, where CBSA Border Services Officers had arrested Jarvis JOCK (age 24) from Akwesasne, Ontario, for possession of unstamped tobacco products. A search of the vehicle resulted in 350 cartons of contraband cigarettes being seized. JOCK was turned over to CRTF members for processing. The car along with the contraband product was seized. JOCK was released from custody on a Promise to Appear.
On July 20th, 2012, at approximately 5:15 pm, the CRTF members were conducting surveillance near the Grey’s Creek Marina, in the Township of South Glengarry. An hour later, they observed a suspicious boat entering the marina from the St. Lawrence River. Further investigation resulted in the arrest of Shawn PARE (age 31) and Claudia PARE (age 28), both from Cornwall, Ontario for being possession of contraband tobacco. Both individuals were brought to RCMP Detachment where they were processed and later released on a Promise to Appear and Undertaking. The truck, a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado, the boat and trailer as well as 500 cartons contraband cigarettes were seized.
On July 23rd, 2012, at approximately 3:30 pm, Darby OAKES (age 41) of Hogansburg, NY, was arrested at Cornwall’s Port of Entry by CBSA on an outstanding arrest warrant in the first instance held by the CRTF. Police allege that on July 14th, 2012, at approximately 8:00 pm, while the Lift-Off Ceremonies were in full swing in Lamoureux Park, OAKES was operating his boat in a dangerous manner on the St. Lawrence River with five adults and four children on board. OAKES was observed maneuvering his boat dangerously amongst other pleasure crafts and the RCMP boat. OAKES also failed to comply with police direction and failed to demonstrate his boat had the required safety equipment. OAKES was held for a bail hearing where he was released on a Recognizance with surety. OAKES also faces a charge of failing to comply with an Undertaking from a Justice.
Also, on that day, Michael THOMPSON (age 32) from Akwesasne, Ontario was stopped at Cornwall’s Port of Entry with one case of contraband tobacco cigarettes. THOMPSON was turned over to CRTF for processing where he was later released on a Promise to Appear. In addition to the contraband, THOMPSON’s vehicle was seized.
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.
If you have any information regarding criminal activity in your area, you can contact the CRTF at 1-613-937-2800 or call Crime stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The CRTF is a joint forces partnership that includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Ministry of Finance.