Law enforcement partners dismantle alleged cross border smuggling organization
TDS News – Today, the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in collaboration with the R.C.M.P and the Mohawk Police Service, busted a number of individuals in Canada and the United States for cross border smuggling following an investigation involving law enforcement partners on both sides of the border.
Project Hammerhead, initiated and led by the CBSA, is an investigation into an alleged sophisticated cross border smuggling organization, utilizing the Akwesasne territory as a transit point to facilitate the smuggling of firearms, marijuana, and currency across the Canada and United States border.
“The Canada Border Services Agency is committed to preventing organized criminal activity across our border. The coordination and collective team effort of all agencies involved demonstrates how our close partnerships benefit the safety of Canadians and protect our borders.” – Stephanie Chenier Director of Intelligence & Enforcement Northern Ontario, CBSA
On January 28, 2021 three search warrants were simultaneously executed in Cornwall, on Cornwall Island, and in Hogansburg, New York. This led to the arrest of two residents of Cornwall, one resident of Cornwall Island, one resident of St. Regis, Quebec, and three residents of Hogansburg, New York. Consequently, over 1,225 lbs of marijuana were seized along with $467,480 CAD, $3,000 USD, three loaded handguns with their magazines, and five vehicles.
The Cornwall Police Service have charged Mark Rudolph, 35, of Cornwall with the following offences:
- Importing and exporting cannabis
- Possession of a firearm contrary to prohibition order x 3
- Possession of property obtained by crime over $5000
- Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence
- Careless storage of a firearm or ammunition x 4
- Knowledge of unauthorized possession of a firearm x 3
- Possession of prohibited or restricted firearm x 3
Rudolph remains in custody pending a court appearance.
The other six people were arrested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Five of them were held to appear in front of a United States Magistrate Judge for federal violations of conspiring to knowingly and intentionally distribute and possess for distribution more than 100 kg of marijuana.