|A police officer’s appeal of a conviction and sentencing for his role in a cheese smuggling operation has been dismissed. Niagara Regional Police Const. Scott Heron was found guilty of conspiracy to smuggle cheese into Canada from the United States without paying duty and breach of trust by a public official on Sept. 18, 2015.|
Heron ran a smuggling operation that saw another constable bring cheese across the border from Buffalo to Fort Erie. The cheese was then sold to local restaurants for profit, at discount prices made possible by evading a 246 per cent markup in duty. About $133,000 of cheese and other food was smuggled into Canada, and $325,000 in duty evaded.
|A former police officer in Niagara was sentenced to four months in prison in relation to a large-scale cheese smuggling operation.|
Scott Heron, 42, of Niagara Regional Police was found guilty on six charges, including customs offenses, after attempting to smuggle large quantities of cheese from the United States to Canada undeclared in 2012.
Niagara Regional Police Cst Scott Heron
Niagara Regional Police Cst. Geoff Purdie
|Police say Heron intended to distribute the cheese, valued at over $200,000, to local restaurants. He was also found guilty of evading $325,729 in duties and taxes.|
The investigation began with another Niagara Regional Police official, Geoff Purdie, who was convicted of attempting to smuggle steroids across the Canadian border. He then went on to testify as part of his plea deal, exposing Heron's involvement in the cheese-smuggling ring.
Mario Sebastiano, owner of Super Mario's pizza in Port Colborne, says he was offered cheese from the U.S.
|The price of milk is between $4 and $6 for four litres in Canada, while in the U.S. consumers pay about $1 a litre. This explains the 200 per cent to 300 per cent tariffs on imported dairy products.|
Canada's National Dairy Policy results in a wealth transfer of more than $2.4-billion annually from consumers and food processors to diary farmers. That's more than $175,000 for each dairy farmer in Canada.