One of the seven remanded in custody facing numerous offences – including failing to comply with a public health order during the COVID-19 pandemic – was released after a brief court appearance.
Eleven people were arrested March 27 and charged with breaking the Saskatchewan Public Health Order that says no more than 10 people can gather at one time without maintaining a two-meter distance. They were also charged with numerous weapons and drug-related offences. Dedrick Stick was released March 30 after appearing in Meadow Lake Provincial Court. Seven of the 11 were initially remanded in custody.
Six of the 11 remain in custody, including Cherokee Cantre, Lucas Oakes, Francis Waterhen, Jasmine Wahpistikwan, Loewen Wolfe and Lorrin Wolfe.
The charges stem from an incident on March 27 when Loon Lake RCMP responded to a report at about 1:30 a.m. of a suspicious person knocking on the door of a residence in Loon Lake. RCMP say they got a description of the vehicle and it was a stolen black 2000 GMC Yukon SUV. They notified nearby detachments to be on the lookout for the SUV.
Meadow Lake RCMP found the vehicle travelling north on a dirt road. Both Loon Lake and Pierceland RCMP assisted Meadow Lake RCMP with the police pursuit. RCMP tried stopping the vehicle but it sped away and police say the occupants started throwing items out of the window. Police picked up one of the bags thrown out, which contained several firearms.
Police pursued the vehicle onto Highway 55 and say that at different times, several occupants of the SUV jumped out of the vehicle while it was driving. They were all picked up one by one by police and arrested.
The police pursuit continued on a dirt road where the driver of the SUV eventually lost control and went into the ditch. Some passengers fled into a bush but were arrested. One was tracked by Meadow Lake RCMP Police Service dog and arrested. Two were arrested at the vehicle.
Police recovered firearms, narcotics and stolen property.
Cantre is scheduled to appear in Meadow Lake Provincial Court April 16, via CCTV, for a bail hearing. Oakes appears on April 6 for a bail hearing. Loewen Wolfe has a bail hearing on April 16. Lorrin Wolfe has a bail hearing on April 23. Waterhen reappears on April 16 to elect how he wants to be tried.
Stick appears in Onion Lake Circuit Court on July 23.
Four others – including one youth – were released from custody after their arrest on March 27 and are scheduled to make their first court appearance in Loon Lake Provincial Court in July. They include Montana Horse, Bianca Lasa and Megan Lewis. The youth can’t be identified in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The 11 are from various communities including Lloydminster, Onion Lake Cree Nation, Makwa Sahaiehcan First Nation, Big Island Lake Cree Territory and Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation.
After being released, Stick, Horse, Lasa, Lewis and the youth were ordered to follow strict conditions under the provincial COVID-19 isolation protocols, including staying inside an approved residence 24 hours a day for 14 days and to notify the Saskatchewan Health Line at 911 immediately if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms.
The 11 were the first to be charged by Saskatchewan RCMP under the Saskatchewan Public Health Act during the COVID-19 pandemic. The act took effect March 26.