EDMUNDSTON (GNB) – Enforcement officers with the Department of Justice and Public Safety, with assistance from the Edmundston Police Force, conducted highway safety checkpoints in the Edmundston region, resulting in multiple tickets, as well as the seizure of drugs, cigarettes, two vehicles and a firearm.

The operation on Route 2 took place on June 5 and 6 in conjunction with the annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Roadcheck.

Fourteen tickets were issued under the Motor Vehicle Act for various infractions. In addition, two warrants of arrest and one warrant of committal were executed.

Officers seized a quantity of drugs and a restricted firearm during one traffic stop. Two people were arrested for possession of a controlled drug and substance for the purpose of trafficking. They appeared in Edmundston provincial court on June 11 and will return at a later date.

During another stop, one person was arrested for transporting cigarettes not stamped in accordance with Section 2 of the Excise Act, which is contrary to Section 121.1 of the Criminal Code. A search revealed 226,381 unstamped cigarettes. The person appeared in court on June 11 and will return at a later date.

A total of 332,788 unstamped cigarettes, a quantity of marijuana, a firearm and pills believed to be methamphetamines were seized during the two-day operation.

The provincial and federal tax values of the seized tobacco are about $84,900 and $70,000 respectively.

The contraband tobacco market is estimated to represent a revenue loss to the province of $13 million annually.

Revenue from the sale of illegal tobacco is often funneled 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 drugs and/or tobacco is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).