Trial for 3 alleged poachers postponed

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A trial for three people from the High Prairie area charged in connection with an illegal fishing operation two years ago has been postponed.
Elizabeth Ann Andrews, Lee Roy Andrews and Ryan Ira Andrews were scheduled for trial Feb. 15-18 in High Prairie provincial court.
They are now scheduled to appear in High Prairie court March 14 to set a new date for trial.
When the matters of Elizabeth Andrews and Lee Andrews were discussed in court Jan. 10, none of them had a lawyer at the time.
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 form Lesser Slave Lake and Winagami Lake.
All fish seized was distributed to people in need throughout Alberta.
People charged face a maximum fine of $100,000 and incarceration per count.

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