Alberta man caught with illegal cigarettes still in custody

Diane Crocker
Published on December 4, 2013
James Jerrett, the Alberta man arrested with 500,000 illegal cigarettes in his possession in Deer Lake on Tuesday, appeared in provincial court in Corner Brook on Wednesday afternoon.
Star photo by Diane Crocker

CORNER BROOK  The Alberta man charged with having 500,000 illegal cigarettes in his possession on Tuesday will remain in police custody until at least Friday.

James Jerrett, 37, of Blackfalds, Alta. appeared in provincial court in Corner Brook on Wednesday. Jerrett’s matters were called in the morning and then set over to the afternoon.

At that time legal aid lawyer Lynn Cole told Judge Wayne Gorman that they were not in a position to determine if Jerrett can be released. She suggested that the matter be set over to Friday.

Gorman agreed and set the matter for status at 1:30 p.m. He indicated that there was time on that day should counsel want to proceed with a bail hearing.

Jerrett has been charged with possession of tobacco products not stamped in accordance with the Excise Act and possession of contraband under the Revenue Administration Act.

He was arrested by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s joint street level drug team in Deer Lake at around 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

Jerrett was stopped by officers while driving a rented U-Haul truck.

Sgt. John Harvey of the Corner Brook detachment of the RCMP said Jerrett was stopped based on observations made by the members.

“This started in Corner Brook and then proceeded east on the Trans-Canada into the community of Deer Lake,” said Harvey.

A search of the U-Haul truck resulted in the discovery of the cigarettes. A total of 2,500 bags, each containing 200 illegal cigarettes, were seized.

Harvey said he has no idea of how much the cigarettes were purchased for and could not confirm that Jerrett had purchased them.

However, he estimated the street sale value of the cigarettes to be between $75,000 and $100,000.

“We’ve seen a carton, which would be 200 cigarettes in a bag, sell between $30 and $40 depending on supply and demand.”

Harvey said police have not yet determined where the cigarettes originated from and believe that Jerrett had just arrived in the province not long before his arrest.