by Phil Ambroziak

Two recent incidents involving the misuse of firearms landed a group of Meadow Lake and area residents in front of a provincial court judge earlier this week.

On Aug. 24 at approximately 5:52 a.m., the Meadow Lake RCMP received multiple reports of shots fired in the Clark Crescent area of the city. Police responded and found a residence had been shot at and a break-and-enter also occurred. The homeowners were not home at the time and there were no injuries sustained. Police located the suspect vehicle involved in the shooting and subsequently arrested two adult males and one male youth.

Andrew Lachance and Jacob Lachance have both been charged with discharging a firearm with intent and using a firearm during an offence. The youth is facing the same charges, but cannot be named as per the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Andrew and Jacob Lachance appeared in court Monday (Aug. 26) at which time they were released from police custody.

“They were all released on a series of strict conditions at the request of the RCMP, some of which include not associating with the Terror Squad, curfew, no alcohol, no weapons and to submit to searches by the RCMP,” explained Crown prosecutor Andrew Clements. “They are set to appear back in court Sept. 16.”

Meanwhile, the investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information about this or any other crime is encouraged to contact the Meadow Lake RCMP at 306-236-2570 or Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com.

Also on Monday’s court docket was Terry Sled, a North Battleford resident who owns a cabin at Flotten Lake in the Meadow Lake Provincial Park. Sled, however, did not actually appear that day at the request of defence lawyer Mitch Cooper who informed the court he only recently received disclosure on the matter in question and called for an adjournment until Sept. 9.

“Mr. Sled was charged with one count of careless use of a firearm,” explained Meadow Lake RCMP S/Sgt. Tim Sartison. “On July 13, the RCMP received a complaint after someone heard gunshots coming from a cabin at Flotten Lake. Police attended, Mr. Sled was subsequently arrested and charged. These are all the details we are providing at this time as this matter is still before the courts.”

According to Robin Van Koughnett, regional director with the provincial Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, strict rules are in place when it comes to firearms in any of the provincial parks throughout Saskatchewan.

“Firearms in the park are subject to the Parks Act, which is also subject to the Wildlife Act,” Van Koughnett explained. “Without prior consent from the minister, no one may use or even possess a firearm in the park. There are exceptions, however, as prior consent from the minister does mean hunting licences. Hunting is allowed in the park during regular hunting season, but not in the core areas. And, when travelling through core areas, firearms must be encased. In regard to the July 13 incident, I’m certain there are federal statutes that apply with regard to safe handling and storage.”

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