CORNWALL, Ont. - A year-long investigation has uncovered a group responsible for smuggling tobacco, marijuana and firearms between the United States and Canada.
The investigation led to the arrest of 12 people from Cornwall, Ont., and the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory on Wednesday. They face 83 charges.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police worked with United States Immigration and Customs and other law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border for this investigation. The operation, called Project OSTONE, began in 2011.
While originally meant to stop the smuggling of tobacco projects, investigators soon found that the group was also dealing in marijuana and weapons.
As the investigation kept on going it became apparent that a certain group was more organized than just trying to make more money spur-of-the-moment using smuggling, said Jean Juneau, spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Over the course of the investigation police seized 401 cases of contraband tobacco products and 11 pounds of marijuana.
The following individuals were charged:
n Leonard Cyr, 69, Corwall.
n David F. Delormier, 30, South Glengarry.
n Brian Gowan, 49, Cornwall.
n Albert Frank Jocko Jr.., Akwesasne Territory.
n Trevor Jacob Jocko, 33, Akwesasne Territory.
n Jordan Lazore, 20, Akwesasne Territory.
n Seth Lazore, 28, Akwesasne Territory.
n Jamie MacDougall, 32, South Glengarry, Ont.
n Brian Montgomery, 35,Akwesasne Territory,
n Jurgen Reichwein, 50, Cornwall, Ont.
n Elvis Thompson, 55, Akwesasne Territory,
n Jack Thompson, 27, Akwesasne Territory,
Collectively these individuals will face the following charges:
n Unlawful possession or sale of tobacco products.
n Property obtained from offences.
n Trafficking in a Controlled Substance.
n Possession of property obtained by crime.
n Participation in activities of criminal organization.
n Conspiracy to commit Indictable Offence.
n Weapons trafficking.
n 115 counts under the Ontario Tobacco Act.