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Contraband cigarette case back in court
Fourteen million contraband cigarettes were seized in the Ponoka area in 2011. Supplied.
Published Sunday, March 2, 2014 5:43PM MST
Two people accused of selling tobacco products not marked for sale in Alberta will be in court on Monday.
Montana Cree Chief Carolyn Buffalo, Robbie Dickson, Jason Lucas and Dwayne Ouimet were charged after police seized 14 million contraband cigarettes in 2011.
Buffalo and Dickson will be defending themselves against charges of storing tobacco products that were not marked for legal sale in Alberta and for possessing more than 1,000 cigarettes.
Dickson has also been accused of not being licensed to import tobacco into the province.
The violations come with a maximum fine of $20,000, six-month prison terms or both. If convicted, the individuals could also receive an additional fine of up to three times the amount of tax avoided.
Dickson and Buffalo launched a lawsuit against the AGLC shortly after the seizure. At the time Dickson told CTV he doesn't believe he needs a provincial licence because the intent was to sell the cigarettes only on reserves.
"We answer to the federal government - we don't necessarily like to deal with the provincial governments," he said.
Officials claim the government may have lost over $3 million in tax revenue from the items.
The trial for Buffalo and Dickson is set to run from March 3-7.