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Possessing 71 cartons of untaxed cigarettes costs Barrhead woman $1,700

A 70-year-old Barrhead woman will have to pay $1,700 after being caught with enough untaxed cigarettes to sustain the average smoker’s habit for a couple of years. 
Barrhead Provincial Court (VM)
A Barrhead woman pleaded guilty to a charge related to the possession of untaxed tobacco products at the Barrhead Court of Justice Aug. 8.

BARRHEAD – A 70-year-old Barrhead woman will have to pay $1,700 after being caught with enough untaxed cigarettes to sustain the average smoker’s habit for a couple of years. 

In Barrhead Court of Justice Aug. 8, Carol Eve Letendre pleaded guilty to the selling, transportation, delivery, distribution or possession of tobacco products as described under Section 121.1 (1) of the Criminal Code. 

Two charges of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, two charges of possession of stolen property valued at over $5,000, one charge of careless use/storage of a firearm and one charge of unauthorized possession of a firearm were withdrawn. 

Justice Carrie-Ann Downey sentenced Letendre to a $1,500 fine, plus a $200 victim-fine surcharge, and ordered the forfeiture of all offence-related exhibits with the exception of a coffee tin containing 159 toonies. 

Federal Crown prosecutor Erwin Schulz said that on March 14, 2023, at or near Barrhead, a search warrant was executed at Letendre’s residence. 

Schulz said police discovered 71 cartons of untaxed cigarettes, which were in Letendre’s possession for the purpose of sale. 

The joint submission from the Crown and defence was for the $1,500 fine plus the $200 victim fine surcharge, though the forfeiture of the coin collection was a sticking point as Letendre’s counsel noted that it had nothing to do with the charges. 

Eventually, an agreement was reached between both sides and Letendre was given 60 days to recover her coin collection from the RCMP. 

The defence noted that Letendre, who was waiving her right to a Gladue Report, has mobility issues and suffers from lung problems as well. 

Justice Downey said she considered the joint submission fit and appropriate given all the factors in the case and gave Letendre until April 8, 2024 to pay the fine.

Kevin Berger, TownandCountryToday.com



Kevin Berger

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