Accused poachers ordered to attend court in person

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Three people from the High Prairie region charged in connection with an illegal fishing operation more than two years ago have been ordered to appear in court to set a trial date.
The matters of Elizabeth Ann Andrews, Lee Roy Andrews and Ryan Ira Andrews returned to High Prairie provincial court April 4 although none appeared.
Judge G.W. Paul ordered all three must appear on the next scheduled court date April 25.
“They must attend in person and be prepared to discuss trial dates,” Judge Paul said.
“Trial dates must be set.”
When the recent court date was set on March 14, Judge G.R. Ambrose also ordered the three be in person April 4.
Duty counsel Harry Jong told court none of the three currently have any lawyers.
However, Judge Paul replied the three co-accused have no excuses to not be prepared for trial.
“These people have had more than two years to get their legal matters in order and get lawyers,” Judge Paul noted.
The trial is expected to take several days, said Crown prosecutor Ter- rance Hudson, who spoke as an agent for Crown prosecutor Serge Eta-Ndu.
“We’re looking at a five-day trail,” he added.
“These files are dated and they are serious matters.”
Details of the charges are extensive, he added.
“Each disclosure [for each person] will be about a four-inch-thick binder,” Hudson told court.
Elizabeth Andrews and Ryan Andrews each face three charges of unauthorized buying/selling fish while Lee Andrews faces two charges of unauthorized buying/selling fish.
They are among 33 people from High Prairie, Faust, Slave Lake and other Alberta communities who face a total of 80 charges under the General Fisheries [Alberta] Regulations, Alberta Fish and Wildlife announced Jan. 23, 2020.
Fish and Wildlife laid the charges after a two-year undercover investigation that focused on trafficking of fish in northern and central Alberta.
Charges include the unlawful sale, purchase and possession of fish, including lake whitefish and walleye – a precious resource in Alberta worth protecting.
Fish were netted primarily in Lesser Slake Lake northeast of High Prairie and Winagami Lake northwest of High Prairie under the guise of Metis and Treaty domestic fishing rights.
However, no commercial fisheries are located in Alberta and Metis and Treaty harvesting rights allow for personal subsistence use only.
Other people charged are from Morinville, Edmonton, Vegreville, Bashaw, Castor and Halkirk.
The final undercover buy occurred Jan. 23, 2020 when authorities seized a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 truck, four gill nets, five fish tubs and gill netting equipment.
During the course of the investigation, about 12,000 lbs of fish were allegedly illegally killed and subsequently trafficked from Lesser Slave Lake and Winagami Lake.
All fish seized was distributed to people in need throughout Alberta.

Share this post