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Battle over illegal smokes goes before Manitoba court –

September 17, 2013

BRANDON, Man. – Arriving on horseback — some wearing headdresses and carrying ceremonial staffs — members of a Manitoba First Nation appeared in court Tuesday to defend their right to operate an illegal smoke shop which sold cigarettes at half the price.

The Dakota Chundee smoke shop near Brandon opened in 2011 and has been raided several times by police.

It has since shut down, but the battle goes well beyond the sale of Mohawk tobacco from Quebec for $40 a carton.

Craig Blacksmith, with the Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation, has been charged with a raft of offences under Manitoba’s Tobacco Tax Act.

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