Bellrose trial postponed – again!

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A trial for a High Prairie man charged in connection with an illegal fishing operation two years ago has been put off again.
Louis Robert Bellrose, 85, was scheduled to go to trial Jan. 24-28 in Edmonton provincial court.
However, the trial was adjourned at the request of Bellrose, says an email message from Edmonton Prosecutions.
A new trial date is expected to be scheduled soon, the message adds.
Previously scheduled for June 7-11, 2021, the trial will cover all his charges in Alberta.
Bellrose was charged with 20 counts combined in High Prairie, Edmonton, Morinville and Stettler. Charges include unauthorized buying and selling fish and unlawfully possession of fish.
Bellrose is one of 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 charges after a two-year undercover investigation that focused on trafficking of fish in northern and central Alberta.
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 form Lesser Slave Lake and Winagami Lake.

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