New Brunswick man found guilty in Quebec maple syrup heist

A New Brunswick man was found guilty Saturday of fraud and trafficking stolen goods in connection with a syrup heist in Quebec.

Etienne Saint-Pierre of Kedgwick found guilty of fraud and trafficking stolen goods

Étienne Saint-Pierre of Kedgwick, New Brunswick, was found guilty Saturday of fraud and trafficking stolen goods in connection with a maple syrup heist in Quebec. (Marika Wheeler/CBC)

A New Brunswick man was found guilty Saturday of fraud and trafficking stolen goods in connection with a maple syrup heist in Quebec.

Etienne Saint-Pierre of Kedgwick was one of four men accused in relation to the theft of 9,500 barrels of maple syrup belonging to the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers between August 2011 and July 2012 valued at $18.7 million. In August 2012, it was discovered that maple syrup in a St-Louis-de-Blandford, Que., warehouse had been replaced by water.

A Trois-Rivières jury also found the so-called ringleader, Richard Vallières, guilty of theft, fraud and trafficking stolen goods. And it found Richard's father, Raymond Vallières, guilty of possession of stolen goods and fraud with the intention to traffic.

A fourth accused — Jean Lord — was acquitted of possession of stolen goods and fraud with intention to traffic.

The defense said it will appeal the verdicts.

A total of 26 people were arrested in relation to the heist. Some of the charges were dropped while other people accused pleaded guilty.

Five others charged in the case are scheduled to stand trial in January.