Hagersville men charged in multi-million dollar contraband cigarette bust
Two men from Hagersville are among the 16 that have charged in an investigation that involved trafficking contraband cigarettes out of Six Nations.
Elvis Wythe, 64, and Derek Wythe, 35, both from Hagersville are facing charges for participating in a criminal organization, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, and a number of contraband tobacco offences.
Brian Denisson, 61, of Ohsweken is also facing criminal organization and trafficking charges.
On Thursday, OPP released information regarding the nearly two-year investigation known as Project CAIRNES.
They say tobacco was being assembled at a facility in Six Nations into contraband cigarettes and trafficking across Ontario and British Columbia.
Guns, cocaine, fentanyl, money, and cannabis were also discovered at the facility.
Police say around $11.5 million worth of contraband cigarettes were sized from the location.
“What’s important to know is that yes, that facility was located on Six Nations, it was unregulated, and it was operated by a member outside of that community,” said Detective Inspector Jim Walker of the OPP. “None of the ill-got gains or the money generated from that was being put back into that local community and I think that’s important to point out.”
Project CAIRNES, which broke up a sophisticated GTA-based criminal organization, was conducted over the course of nearly two years.