CBSA and RCMP intercept boat, leads to seizure of over 200 kilograms of suspected cannabis

January 7, 2022            Brockville, Ontario        Canada Border Services Agency / Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) work together to uphold laws governing the illegal cross-border movement of contraband goods, including cannabis. While legal in Canada, the unauthorized movement of cannabis across Canada’s international borders remains a serious criminal offence, subject to enforcement up to and including criminal investigation and prosecution. Unauthorized cannabis can be dangerous as it is not regulated, may contain elements that are harmful to human health, and should not make its way to Canadian communities.

A significant amount of suspected cannabis was seized following an investigation by the CBSA Northern Ontario Region, and the RCMP. Two individuals were arrested on November 2, 2021 and charged on November 10, 2021.

On October 30, 2021, a CBSA investigator observed a boat engaging in what they believed to be a waterborne smuggling event at the Mallorytown Landing, in Mallorytown, Ontario. The investigator took note of what they saw and forwarded this information to the CBSA Northern Ontario Region Intelligence team.

The investigation continued on November 2, 2021, when the CBSA observed the same boat being launched at the Mallorytown Landing ramp. The boat then travelled across the waterway and returned to the dock shortly afterwards. Two individuals subsequently departed with the boat in tow.

The RCMP and CBSA conducted a vehicle stop and search of the suspect vehicles based on the Customs Act, and seized 136 kilograms of suspected dried cannabis located in the boat. Further investigation led to the execution of two search warrants in storage units located in Brockville and Kingston, Ontario, where more than 65 kilograms of suspected dried cannabis was seized for a total of over 200 kilograms. 

Kenneth Hotz, 49, of Toronto, Ontario was charged with:

  • Importing and exporting cannabis, contrary to the Cannabis Act
  • Possession of cannabis for purpose of distributing, contrary to the Cannabis Act
  • Possession of substance (Schedule I: cocaine), contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, contrary to the Criminal Code  
  • Possession of unstamped cannabis, contrary to the Excise Act, 2001 

Jonathan Laporte, 33, of Toronto, Ontario was charged with:

  • Importing and exporting cannabis, contrary to the Cannabis Act
  • Possession of cannabis for purpose of distributing, contrary to the Cannabis Act
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, contrary to the Criminal Code  
  • Possession of unstamped cannabis, contrary to the Excise Act, 2001 

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