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Trail assault leads police to unstamped tobacco, fentanyl

A second officer detained the truck roadside and arrested the suspected perpetrator
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After responding to an assault report in downtown Trail, officers allegedly found fentanyl and unstamped tobacco in the suspect’s vehicle. Photo: Mathew MacQuarrie/Unsplash

Sunday night (Nov. 19), a RCMP officer responded to a call from Bay Avenue in downtown Trail.

The complainant, a 60-year-old Trail man, alleged that another Trail man, 42, had struck him in the leg with a baton.

While the attending officer was speaking with the victim, she observed the alleged offender driving by in his truck.

A second officer detained the truck roadside and arrested the suspect.

Once the man was secured into custody, a police search of the truck allegedly revealed unstamped tobacco products and 10 grams of a substance suspected to be fentanyl.

Officers seized the contraband tobacco and illicit drugs from the truck.

The victim declined to provide a statement to investigators.

The matter remains under investigation.

What is contraband (unstamped) tobacco?

According to criminalcodehelp.ca, contraband tobacco is tobacco that is not purchased, possessed, acquired, marked, stamped, transported, stored or sold in accordance with federal and provision legislation.

After introducing the Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act in 2014, the federal government amended the criminal code to combat the trafficking and cross-border smuggling of contraband tobacco.

Trafficking can involve the following actions: sale; offer for sale; possession for the purpose of sale; transportation; distribution; or delivery.

Along with s. 121(1) of the criminal code, each province or territory has its own laws governing contraband cigarettes. In British Columbia, for example, you can be fined three times the province’s tobacco tax, up to $50,000 and be jailed for two years imprisonment for being involved in illegal tobacco activities.

Exceptions

Under Bill C-10, Section 2.2.1 on Prohibited Practices specifies an exception. It states that “the prohibition does not extend to possession without the intention to sell these controlled goods.” To clarify, possessing unstamped tobacco is not illegal if there is no intent to resell it.

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Sheri Regnier

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