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Police respond to Highway 17 car crash, seize $195K worth of suspected contraband cigarettes

Three from Manitoba were arrested as a result of the investigation
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NEWS RELEASE
ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
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MUNICIPALITY OF HURON SHORES - On May 10, 2020 at approximately 6:37 a.m., members from the East Algoma Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a break and enter in progress to an enclosed trailer in the westbound ditch on Highway 17 near Brownlee Road in the Municipality of Huron Shores.

Police arrived on scene a short time later and determined the incident wasn't a break and enter but in fact was a motor vehicle collision involving a pick-up truck towing an enclosed trailer that was travelling westbound on Highway 17 and entered a ditch.  

Officers observed a large quantity of boxes containing cartons of cigarettes from the overturned trailer being loaded into a pick-up truck that had worked its way out of the ditch.   

Officers determined the cigarettes were contraband and seized 160 boxes of the contraband cigarettes containing 50 cartons in each box and 58 bags of loose individual packages of cigarettes with an estimated overall value of over $195,000. Also, seized were the pick-up truck, several cell phones, one laptop and over $5000 in Canadian currency.

As a result of the investigation, the driver Cyrus Darling, age 25 from Gimli, Manitoba was charged with:

  • Careless driving, contrary to section 130(1) of the Highway Traffic Act,
  • Possess unmarked fine cut tobacco for Sale, contrary to section 29(1) of the Tobacco Tax Act (TTA), and with
  • Possess unmarked cigarettes, contrary to section 29(2) of the TTA.

George Darling, age 46, from Gimli, Manitoba was charged with:

  • Possess unmarked fine cut tobacco for sale, contrary to section 29(1) of the Tobacco Tax Act (TTA), and with
  • Possess unmarked cigarettes, contrary to section 29(2) of the TTA.

Amy Lavallee, age 29, from Gimli, Manitoba was charged with:

  • Possess unmarked fine cut tobacco for sale, contrary to section 29(1) of the Tobacco Tax Act (TTA), and with
  • Possess unmarked cigarettes, contrary to section 29(2) of the TTA.

The three accused are scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Sault Ste Marie on August 5, 2020.

Assisting with the investigation were the Ministry of Finance, the OPP North East Region Canine Unit and the East Algoma OPP Crime Unit.

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