On January 22, 2014, a joint enforcement operation known as Project Debit was undertaken. Members of the RCMP, provincial taxation investigators and the Dakota Ojibway Police Service, executed a warrant on Dakota Plains First Nation, southwest of Portage la Prairie.
4800 cartons of cigarettes and three firearms were seized. Police also searched a rental locker and further seizures were made, including two cases of tobacco and three more firearms.
Craig Blacksmith, the owner of a smoke shop at Dakota Plains First Nation and Tammy Walters, a shop employee, were fined on a number of charges stemming from a 2014 seizure by the RCMP and provincial taxation investigators of 951,225 non-Manitoba marked cigarettes, 1845 tins of chewing tobacco (snuff), six firearms, cash and one vehicle.
On June 16, 2016, Craig Blacksmith and Tammy Walters were each convicted of offences under the provincial Tobacco Tax Act and Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act.
Blacksmith faced two charges of possessing and selling non-Manitoba marked cigarettes and possessing and selling other tobacco products (snuff) under the provincial legislation. He received fines totalling $8,500 and was assessed tax penalties totalling $1,159,845.60.
Walters faced similar charges under the provincial legislation. Walters was fined a total of $6,500 and was assessed tax penalties totalling $868,009.20.
Each was given 10 years to pay the fines and penalties.