Turner fined over $42,000 for contraband cigarettes

Justin Crann
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A Moose Jaw man is facing upwards of $40,000 in fines after pleading guilty to possession of a large volume of contraband cigarettes.

Moose Jaw Provincial Court

Calvin Donald Turner, 62, appeared in Moose Jaw provincial court Tuesday to enter his plea and receive his sentence from Judge Margaret Gordon.

Rob Parker, the provincial Crown prosecutor on the case, told the court Turner's home was searched and he was found to be in possession of 71,900 contraband cigarettes.

The cigarettes were seized along with a firearm and a quantity of cash, Parker said.

Turner faced several federal and provincial counts relating to the contraband cigarettes, but pleaded guilty to only two counts. 

The remaining charges were dropped by the Crown prosecutors.

In her ruling, Gordon highlighted both the economic impact of possession and purchasing contraband cigarettes and the potential health regulations.

The cigarettes are not tested under Health Canada or any other agency and the potential toxins and other contents in them are unknown as a result.

Under the federal Excise Tax Act, Turner received a fine of $12,223. Under the provincial Tobacco Tax Act, he received an additional fine of $100 plus a further penalty — based on the number of contraband cigarettes — of $30,198.

Altogether, he faces $42,521 in fines.

Gordon gave Turner a year to pay off his fines, however both Crown prosecutors told the court they would consider an extension of the period if he shows a clear effort to pay off the fines or work them off through the fine option program within the year.

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Organizations: Health Canada

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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