Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Yes, he was convicted. Sentencing will be in November. Hope he has to spend some quality time behind bars with hard-core criminals.
Scott Heron's defence lawyer tried to accuse Geoff Purdy of arson during cross-examination of the convicted smuggler's testimony against Scott Heron, a one-time fellow Niagara Regional Police officer.
"Former Niagara Regional Police officer Jeff Purdie
denied any involvement in starting a fire that destroyed
a business he once owned in St. Catharines."
That was on Tuesday of the trial. On Wednesday, the Crown brought forth evidence that Heron made unauthorized CPIC checks on himself and others while he was an NRP officer.
Today, Bernie Polino, a fellow cheese smuggler who was championed by former Ward 5 Councillor Martha Lockwood to push aside a long-time operator of the Bay Beach snack bar, and who later allowed Martha and her partner to run a tee shirt shop in the building, will testify for the Crown, probably part of a plea deal when he was arrested for smuggling. Bernie got away with numerous health and safety violations when he operated the snack bar and Martha Lockwood should have been charged with conflict of interest for her involvement in Bernie's business while making crucial votes on the status of the Bay Beach Properties. And so the saga continues ...
I've been waiting for this. For five years actually. Ever since Bernie Polino told me that he doesn't have to worry about problems with the health department regarding his snack bar at Bay Beach because, "I have friends in the police department." Well, one of those "friends" is currently on trial for smuggling cheese and chicken wings across the border while using his status as a cop to make it through customs unchecked. His name is Scott Heron and some might recall he was in a fatal accident on the QEW where his friend Andy Passero was killed. In early reports there was mention that neither occupant of the truck was wearing a seat belt and that speed was a likely factor in the crash. The other driver is currently serving time for his role in the accident. So Heron's name was familiar to me and when I was told that he was Bernie's partner in the snack bar, it all made sense. I just knew there was something fishy, or shall I say cheesy going on.
The whole house of cards came down when another NRP poster boy was nabbed at the border for smuggling steroids. The feds in Buffalo got a hold of Geoff Purdie and he dropped a dime on his fellow smugglers Bernie, Scott and Sgt. Casey Langelaan. Since then, Bernie has pled and paid a fine; Casey has resigned from the NRP and paid a fine; Purdie served a year at Club Fed in the States and is now singing like a canary at the courthouse in Welland, part of his plea deal on smuggling charges. He is no longer an NRP officer.
Sometimes, there is justice for criminals. In this case, justice is being meted out to those who are supposed to catch criminals, not behave like them. Heron will probably be given a light sentence. I hope I'm wrong and the judge throws the book at him. But these guys are Teflon® coated because they are also protecting others, some in very high places. Scott has already tried to use his accident injuries as an excuse for his wayward ways. Just as a point of reference, Purdy made it to the Sunshine List before he was arrested. He was making around $120,000. per year. It is said that the cheese smugglers avoided close to $300,000. in taxes on the products they smuggled into Canada. Just let that settle in. This was a large scale operation and these guys are probably still working some angle to make money now that they're out of their Sunshine List salaries.
For me, it was personal. I ran the snack bar across the street from Bernie's and we were constantly under threat by the health department, which never seemed to care that Bernie was operating his business in the sand using coolers, a garden hose and unsecured propane tanks. We knew that the health department was being sicced on us by Bernie and his "friends" but we could do nothing except watch as the very uncomfortable inspector looked and looked for anything to cite us with. She refused to go across the street to see Bernie's mess but found that a hole in the screen door was a violation. She came on the hottest day of the summer, when we were extremely busy and demanded that we throw out fresh food because our refrigerators were not cold enough. She had no right to do that; food was safe and fine but she was under orders to make us look bad. She later apologized saying that our kitchen was very, very clean. (That apology came after her third trip to inspect. We even purchased a new refrigerator to please her and she didn't even look at it.)
So, I am hoping that Scott Heron sweats a lot. I hope he faces financial ruin for what he's done because, what he's been formally charged with is nothing in comparison to what he's accused of in the complaints against him from long before his arrest.
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