Man fined $72,000 for illegal smokes

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PICTOU – A Westville man has been fined $72,000 after pleading guilty possessing illegal tobacco products.

David George Callaghan, 41, was sentenced in Pictou provincial court Tuesday after pleading guilty to charges under the Revenue Act and Excise Act related to possessing illegal tobacco in October 2013.

Crown Attorney Bronwyn Duffy told Judge Del Atwood that Pictou County Integrated Street Crime Unit received a tip that Callaghan was leaving Ontario and travelling to Nova Scotia with illegal tobacco products in his van.

Police stopped Callaghan’s vehicle in Abercrombie and seized 80,000 unmarked cigarettes. 

Defence lawyer Stephen Robertson said his client has accepted responsibility for his actions and the fact that he will be in deep debt the rest of his life in an effort to pay off the fines he was about to receive.

He said Callaghan is currently on disability and unable to work so he asked the court for as much time as possible to pay the fines.

Atwood sentenced the accused to $13,600 for having unstamped tobacco under the Excise Act and $58,948 for not paying tax on the tobacco in his possession under the Revenue Act.  

He was given 24 months to pay the fine, but Atwood told him he could come back to court and ask for extensions if needed. 

Organizations: Pictou County Integrated Street Crime Unit

Geographic location: Pictou, Ontario, Nova Scotia Abercrombie

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