Four Americans have been charged by Canadian authorities with masterminding a liquor smuggling ring and evading more than $1 million in customs fees and tariffs, a newspaper reported over the weekend.
The Courier-Observer of Massena reported that three of the men were arrested Wednesday; a fourth is still at large.
A Canadian law enforcement task force seized about 4,000 cases of illegally shipped liquor during their investigation, the newspaper said.
Arrested were Nicholas Miller, 32; Shawn Burke, 31; and Scott Kimble, 28, all of Massena. Still at large today was Miller's 52-year-old father, Larry, a Massena businessman.
Authorities said that the smugglers used American trucking companies to bring liquor to the Massena area, then crossed the border near Cornwall, Ont., using either back roads or forged documents.
The task force used undercover agents to infiltrate the business.
The smugglers' activities probably cost the Canadian and Ontario governments about $1.9 million Canadian.
A 1.75-liter bottle of U.S. liquor, with tariffs, would cost about $42 in Canadian dollars and half that on the black market.