A yearlong investigation has uncovered a group allegedly responsible for smuggling tobacco, marijuana and firearms between the United States and Canada.
The investigation led to the arrest Wednesday of 12 people from Cornwall, Ontario, and the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. They face 83 charges.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police worked with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies on both sides of the border for the investigation. The operation, called Project OSTONE, began in 2011. While it originally was meant to stop the smuggling of tobacco products, investigators allege that the group also was 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, RCMP spokesman.
Over the course of the investigation police seized 401 cases of contraband tobacco products and 11 pounds of marijuana.
The following people, all Ontario residents, face charges:
■ Leonard Cyr, 69, Cornwall.
■ David F. Delormier, 30, South Glengarry.
■ Brian Gowan, 49, Cornwall.
■ Albert Frank Jocko Jr., Akwesasne.
■ Trevor Jacob Jocko, 33, Akwesasne.
■ Jordan Lazore, 20, Akwesasne.
■ Seth Lazore, 28, Akwesasne.
■ Jamie MacDougall, 32, South Glengarry.
■ Brian Montgomery, 35, Akwesasne.
■ Jurgen Reichwein, 50, Cornwall.
■ Elvis Thompson, 55, Akwesasne.
■ Jack Thompson, 27, Akwesasne.