Vt. company linked to huge Quebec maple syrup heist
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. -
The investigation into a multimillion dollar maple heist has moved south of the Canadian border and into Vermont. We're learning that a Northeast Kingdom maple company is now part of that investigation into stolen syrup.
Not much is being released about the international investigation. We do know that search warrants were reportedly served at Maple Grove Farms in St. Johnsbury in the fall because authorities in Canada say Maple Grove took advantage of a golden deal.
The investigation into the Great Maple Syrup Caper began in July 2012, when it was discovered $20 million worth of the liquid gold was missing from a warehouse just north of Montreal. According to Canadian authorities, the syrup was siphoned from barrels inside the warehouse between August 2011 and July 2012. According to police, some of the barrels were empty; others were filled with water to cover up the crime. It had an impact on the global supply of syrup. Investigators arrested 18 people following hundreds of interviews at maple syrup production facilities in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Vermont.
Now, the Montreal Gazette is reporting Canadian and Vermont authorities executed a search warrant at Maple Grove Farms in St. Johnsbury back in October after a company official admitted to purchasing 12 tanker loads of maple syrup at a price "substantially below normal rates" from one of the defendants in the case. The factory on Portland Street produces a wide variety of maple products, including syrup, pancake mixes, dressings and candy.
Attempts to obtain the search warrants were unsuccessful because they are not public. U.S. Attorney Tris Coffin told WCAX News he could not comment.
Maple Grove Farms released this statement:
"It has been reported that Maple Grove Farms purchased maple syrup from Mr. Richard Vallieres that allegedly has been stolen from the Federation of Québec Maple Syrup Producers. Maple Grove Farms is committed to providing quality products and observing high ethical standards in the conduct of our business. Maple Grove Farms purchased the maple syrup in good faith with no reason to believe that it was coming from Québec or that it may have been stolen. Press reports that the prices paid for the maple syrup were "substantially below normal rates" are inaccurate. The prices paid were consistent with normal commercial prices for maple syrup purchased from sources outside of Québec. Maple Grove Farms is fully cooperating with the investigation being conducted by the authorities, including the Québec Police."
Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>