Ditched 401 rental truck was carrying over $1.3-million in unstamped tobacco

Smith photo, Nation Valley News

MORRISBURG — A rental truck that ran off  Highway 401 near Morrisburg last week was helping to carry over $1.3-million in unstamped tobacco, according to police.

The SD&G OPP says the crashed vehicle was one of two rental trucks travelling eastbound in a convoy that morning, “heavily loaded” with boxes containing unstamped, fine-cut raw tobacco. Responding to the scene at the Church Rd. overpass shortly after 7:10 a.m., officers arrested three Brampton, Ontario men — ages 28, 31 and 35 years old — without incident.

Police have not yet determined why the cargo truck left the roadway and came to rest in the centre median but continue to investigate. The male driver, lone occupant of the vehicle, was uninjured. Police say they located boxes containing unstamped, fine cut raw tobacco in the involved cargo truck. The second truck turned up in the ensuing investigation.

In all, 14,662 kg of tobacco was seized with an estimated value of $1,319,580.

SD&G OPP received assistance from the CRTF (Cornwall Regional task Force) involving Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

Those charged were released to appear in Morrisburg Court on July 3. RCMP Charges for Possession of Unstamped Tobacco, contrary to the Excise Act (2001) are pending. The names of the trio were not released as the charges do not involve Criminal Code offences.

Nation Valley News snapped photos of the heavily damaged Penske rental truck as a towing crew removed it May 24 from the centre median at the Church Rd. overpass. An early article on the fate of the wayward vehicle reached 5,600 people on Facebook alone.

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