Saskatchewan RCMP has made its first arrests and charges during the COVID-19 pandemic under the Saskatchewan Public Health Act, which renders illegal, since March 26, 2020, “participating in a private gathering of more than 10 people without maintaining a two-meter distancing between people”.
On March 27, 2020, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Loon Lake RCMP responded to the report of a suspicious person who was knocking on the door of a residence in Loon Lake.
At the residence, Loon Lake RCMP officers received a description of a vehicle associated to the suspicious person, a stolen black 2000 GMC Yukon SUV, and immediately requested nearby detachments to be on the lookout for the suspect vehicle.
Meadow Lake RCMP located the suspect vehicle going north on grid Road 699. Loon Lake RCMP and Pierceland RCMP joined Meadow Lake RCMP to follow the suspect vehicle.
Police officers attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle did not stop. Instead, while fleeing, the occupants of the vehicle threw a number of items out of the window of the vehicle. Police officers picked up one of the bags that were thrown and found several firearms inside.
Police officers continued to follow the vehicle, which turned west on Highway 55. At different times, several occupants of the vehicle jumped out of the running vehicle. They were all intercepted one by one and taken into custody.
Police officers continued to follow the suspect vehicle as it turned south on a grid road, went into a ditch and stopped. The remaining occupants of the vehicle fled into a bush.
Police officers arrested 2 occupants of the vehicle at the scene. The last occupant of the vehicle was tracked into the bush by a Meadow Lake RCMP Police Service Dog and arrested.
Police officers were able to recover a number of firearms, a quantity of narcotics and an assortment of stolen property.
Eleven (11) individuals were arrested in relation to this incident. They are:
Cherokee Cantre (1993-05-23) from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation, SK;
Montana Horse (1998-08-14) from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation;
Bianca Lasas (2000-12-18) from Lloydminster;
Megan Lewis (1997-07-24) from Onion Lake;
Lucas Oakes (1996-03-21) from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation;
Dedrick Stick (1991-10-17) from Lloydminster;
Jasmine Wahpistikwan (1997-04-04) from Big Island Lake Cree Territory;
Francis Waterhen (1994-07-28) from Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation;
Loewen Wolfe (1989-07-15) from Onion Lake;
Lorrin Wolfe (1990-11-10) from Onion Lake; and
One youth, who cannot be identified in accordance with the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act.
They all have been charged with the following:
(Except for the youth who is facing all of these charges, but not the assault charge)
Flight from a peace officer; assault of a peace officer with a weapon; possession of a weapon with a dangerous purpose; possession of a firearm in a vehicle; possession of a prohibited firearm; dangerous operation of a vehicle; possession of property obtained by crime; failure to comply with the Public Health Order, section 61 of the Saskatchewan Public Health Act.
Seven (7) of the accused are facing additional charges under the Canadian Criminal Code:
Cherokee Cantre is facing the additional charges of: resisting arrest; failure to comply with a release order; and breach of probation.
Bianca Lasas is facing the additional charge of: failure to comply with a release order.
Lucas Oakes is facing the additional charges of: operation of a conveyance while prohibited; breach of probation; and possession of a firearm while unauthorized.
Francis Waterhen is facing the additional charge of: breach of probation.
Jasmine Wahpistikwan is facing the additional charge of: obstruction.
Loewen Wolfe is facing the additional charges of: resisting arrest; failure to comply with a release order; and possession of a firearm while unauthorized.
Lorrin Wolfe is facing the additional charges of: resisting arrest; and failure to comply with a release order.
Seven (7) of the accused (Cherokee Cantre, Lucas Oakes, Dedrick Stick, Francis Waterhen, Jasmine Wahpistikwan, Loewen Wolfe and Lorrin Wolfe) have been remanded for court on Monday March 30, 2020 at the Meadow Lake Provincial Court.
Four (4) of the accused (Montana Horse, Bianca Lasa, Megan Lewis and the youth) have been released and will first appear in court on Thursday July 2, 2020 or Thursday July 23, 2020 at the Loon Lake Provincial Court.
The accused who have been released must follow strict conditions in line with provincial COVID-19 isolation protocols, including: staying inside an approved residence for 24 hours a day for 14 days and immediately notifying the Saskatchewan Health Line 811 if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
These are the first individuals the Saskatchewan RCMP have arrested and charged during the COVID-19 pandemic under the Saskatchewan Public Health Act, which renders illegal, since March 26, 2020, “participating in a private gathering of more than 10 people without maintaining a two-meter distancing between people”.
Individuals choosing to continue gathering in contravention of the Saskatchewan Public Health Act place the Saskatchewan population, including Saskatchewan RCMP police officers, at risk of exposure to COVID-19.