Senior smuggles 21M illegal smokes

Contraband cigarettes. (SIMON CLARK / QMI AGENCY)

Contraband cigarettes. (SIMON CLARK / QMI AGENCY)

Michael Nguyen, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:58 PM ET

MONTREAL — An 80-year-old Montreal businessman has been found guilty of smuggling 21 million contraband cigarettes from a Montreal-area Native reservation and selling them in Nova Scotia.

Gerald O'Reilly was accused of smuggling the smokes between 2006 and 2008 along with his late spouse and his business partner, David Alexander Phillips.

Quebec provincial police arrested a total of 13 people in an operation they called Conquest.

O'Reilly and Phillips would purchase the tobacco from the Kahnawake reserve on Montreal's South Shore and then take it to Nova Scotia in refrigerated containers.

Police claim the profits were laundered via an ATM company affiliated with O'Reilly.

"The organization was structured in a way that allowed for a very large number of cigarettes to be smuggled over an 18-month period," Judge Louise Bourdeau said.

The two men face up to 14 years in prison.


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