Ringleader Of Canada’s Multimillion-Dollar Maple Syrup Heist Found Guilty

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It’s been four years since our neighbors to the north were rocked by the theft of millions of dollars worth of maple syrup from Canada’s global strategic maple syrup reserve. Authorities recovered the stuff pretty quickly, but it’s taken some time to bring those responsible to justice. Things are one step closer to wrapping up, however, after one of the heist’s reputed ringleaders was recently found guilty.

A jury in Trois-Rivières, Quebec found the man guilty of theft, fraud, and trafficking stolen goods, CBC News reports. During his trial, he admitted to filling Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers barrels with water so no one would notice the syrup was missing.

Indeed, the theft of about 3,300 tons was only discovered after a routine inventory check in July 2012 revealed an empty barrel that was supposed to contain syrup, and officials realized there was something funny going on.

He was one of 26 people arrested in connection to the heist, testifying that he didn’t want to steal from the federation but was forced to by a man with a gun. Other witnesses, however, testified that he was one of the guys in charge of the operation.

Another accused of being involved was found guilty of fraud and trafficking stolen goods, while a third man was found guilty of possession of stolen goods and of fraud with the intention to traffic. A fourth person was acquitted on charges of possession of stolen goods and fraud with intention to traffic.

“The Crown is very satisfied with the verdicts, given the amount and force of the evidence against the accused,” the lead Crown prosecutor for the case told CBC News.

There are five others accused of participating in the heist that will stand trial in January.

Reputed ringleader in $18.7M maple syrup heist found guilty [CBC News]

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