CORNWALL, Ont. - After a three-month investigation, the Cornwall-Massena Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) and the Cornwall Regional Task Force have arrested four individuals in connection with their involvement in an alleged human smuggling and human trafficking ring.
The following law enforcement agencies played an integral role in the investigations success: Cornwall and greater Toronto area (GTA) CBSA Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Divisions, the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service, the Cornwall Community Police Service, the Peel Regional Police Service and RCMP Toronto immigration Task Force.
Police allege that on or about June 18, Emmanuel Stanley Omoghan, 46, and Felix Omoghan, 66, both from Brampton, Ont., Seth Lazore, 28, from Akwesasne, Ont., as well as Oren Lazore, 21, from Snye, Que. were involved in the smuggling and trafficking of a family of five from the United States into Canada in the Cornwall, Ont. area.
All accused face various charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Criminal Code for their involvement in this criminal enterprise.
Police allege that the family was transported by land from the USA to Cornwall Island, where they were subsequently transported to Cornwall via boat across the St. Lawrence River. The family consisted of two adults and three children.
These four arrests are the result of the great partnership HSI has with our law enforcement on both sides of the northern border in our unyielding resolve to bring human traffickers to justice, said Nick DiNicola, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Albany.
Thanks to the great law enforcement cooperation we have with our Canadian partners via the BEST, these individuals will now face charges for their actions. HSI will continue to work with our Canadian colleagues to ensure that those who commit these heinous crimes are held accountable for their actions, whether in the United States of Canada.
Human trafficking involves victims and, for their benefit, we must prioritize these types of investigations. It is obvious that organized crime exploits the geography of this area to move whatever commodity, including people, across the shared Canada - U.S. border. Our collective investigative team was successful in thwarting the further trafficking of this family, stated Inspector Tim Kimpan, officer in charge of the Cornwall Regional Task Force. Inspector Kimpan added this file could not have been investigated without the collaborative efforts of local, provincial, federal and foreign law enforcement agencies.
The CBSA and its law enforcement partners take all allegations involving the illegal entry of persons into Canada very seriously, said Lance Markell, CBSA director of Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Division. This case is an important example of how we can work together to deter others who seek to benefit from this type of illegal activity.
The Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) is led by Homeland Security Investigations (lead agency) and is partnered with federal, state, local and foreign (RCMP and OPP) agencies. BEST operates from Massena. BEST is a multi-agency team developed to identify, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations posing significant threats to border security.
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.
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.