Twenty undeclared firearms seized at the Rainbow Bridge leads to an arrest

News release

For Immediate Release

November 13, 2018                     Niagara Falls, Ontario                            Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today the seizure of 20 firearms and the arrest of Marquise Tariff Watkins, of Niagara Falls, New York.

On October 16, 2018, a vehicle was referred to secondary for examination at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ontario. During the examination, CBSA officers, supported by a detector dog team, discovered 20 undeclared handguns concealed inside an after-market compartment in the vehicle.

Watkins, 28 years of age, was charged by the CBSA with:

  • Wilful evasion, contrary to the Customs Act;

  • False statements, contrary to the Customs Act; and,

  • Attempt to smuggle, contrary to the Customs Act.

CBSA contacted the Niagara Regional Police Services (NRPS) who attended and laid several charges.

Watkins’ next court date is on November 14, 2018 at the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines.

This seizure and arrest are the result of a collaborative effort between the CBSA’s Greater Toronto Area Region and the Southern Ontario Region, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police’s Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit, the NRPS and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The investigation is ongoing.

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“This seizure and arrest demonstrate the ongoing commitment of the Canada Border Services Agency to prevent firearms from illegally entering Canada at the border. I am proud of CBSA’s intelligence officers, investigators and border services officers who work diligently to stop the smuggling of firearms into our communities. Strong collaborative partnerships between the CBSA and its domestic and international partners are essential to ensuring the safety of Canadians.”

-  Rick Comerford, Regional Director General, Southern Ontario Region, Canada Border Services Agency

Quick facts

  • Firearms and weapons are high-risk commodities and their interdiction is a CBSA enforcement priority.

  • The CBSA and its domestic and international law enforcement partners work together to prevent illegal firearms and weapons from reaching our communities.

  • If you have information about suspicious cross-border activity, please contact the CBSA Border Watch Toll free Line at 1-888-502-9060.

  • If you have information on suspicious or criminal activities, please contact your local police, the Ontario Provincial Police or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).


Media Relations, Southern Ontario Region

Canada Border Services Agency

Media Line:       1-844-580-3636


Twitter:              @CanBorderSOR

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