EDMUNDSTON (GNB) – A 37-year-old Mill Cove man has been fined $144,860 for transporting unstamped tobacco products. Christopher Miller was sentenced on March 20 after pleading guilty in Edmundston provincial court in December. He was charged under the Tobacco Tax Act and the Criminal Code.

Enforcement officers from the Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the Edmundston Police Force and the Sûreté du Quebec, arrested Miller on Feb. 1, 2018, after the search of a 2010 Ford Taurus revealed more than 110,000 unstamped cigarettes. In addition to the fines, the vehicle was forfeited as offence-related property.

The provincial tax value of the seized tobacco is estimated at $28,072 and the estimated federal tobacco excise tax value is $23,100.

Revenue from the sale of illegal tobacco is often funnelled into organized crime and supports the underground economy in New Brunswick. Illegal tobacco works against government cessation programs and poses a greater risk to increased smoking rates for youth. Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in Canada. Each day, 100 Canadians die of a smoking-related illness.

Anyone with information on the sale and distribution of illegal tobacco is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).