Charges of violating Public Health Act dropped against two people

Charges were dropped against two people who were the first to be charged under the Saskatchewan Public Health Act during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Act said no more than 10 people can gather at one time without maintaining a two-meter distance and went into effect March 26. A group of 11 people arrested March 27 were the first in Saskatchewan to be charged under the act.

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Charges against Jasmine Wahpistikwan and Lucas Oakes were stayed in Meadow Lake Provincial Court on May 21 and May 14 respectively. 

Four of the 11 – including one youth - were released on conditions after their arrest. Conditions of release for Montana Horse, Bianca Lasa and Megan Lewis included self-isolating for 14 days and notifying Saskatchewan Health immediately if they developed any COVID-19 symptoms. 

The 11 charged are from various communities including Lloydminster, Onion Lake Cree Nation, Makwa Sahaiehcan First Nation, Big Island Lake Cree Territory and Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation.

They were arrested on March 27 after a police pursuit involving three RCMP detachments, including Loon Lake RCMP, Pierceland RCMP and Meadow Lake RCMP. 

Loon Lake RCMP had responded to a report of a suspicious person knocking on the door of a home at about 1:30 a.m. The black GMC Yukon SUV the person was driving was stolen and Loon Lake RCMP alerted nearby detachments to be on the look out for the vehicle. 

Meadow Lake RCMP found the SUV a short time later and officers from the three detachments pursued the vehicle. RCMP say the occupants of the SUV started throwing items out of the window. Police located one of the bags, which contained several firearms. Police also found narcotics and stolen property. 

Several of the occupants jumped out of the moving vehicle but they were all picked up by police and arrested. Some of the passengers were found hiding in a nearby bush by sniffer dogs and arrested.

Francis Waterhen, 25, is one of the 11 people charged and he remains in custody on weapons and drug-related offences. Waterhen is scheduled to appear in Canoe Lake Circuit Court on June 11 for a show cause hearing.

Dedrick Stick was released March 30 and is scheduled to appear in Onion Lake Circuit Court on July 23. 

Cherokee Cantre and Loewen Wolfe are still in custody on other charges and both have a bail hearing in Loon Lake Circuit Point on July 2. 

Lorrin Wolfe is scheduled to appear in Meadow Lake Provincial Court June 18 to speak to his matters.

Horse, Lasa, Lewis and the youth will make their first court appearances on July 2 and July 23 in Loon Lake Provincial Court. 



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