Alleged poachers preparing for plea

Still awaiting full disclosure, says lawyer, but Crown disagrees

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A woman and two men from the High Prairie area charged in connection with a major fish-poaching operation will return to court in two weeks to decide the next step.

The matters of Elizabeth Ann Andrews, Ryan Ira Andrews and Lee Roy Andrews returned to High Prairie provincial Oct. 19.

“All matters are reserved for plea for Nov. 9,” Judge R.B. Marceau declared.

Matters were put over upon request by an agent for Sarah Terry, the lawyer for Elizabeth Andrews.

The agent for Terry says the lawyer was waiting for more disclosure.

However, disclosure has been fully presented, argued Andre Arseneau, chief Crown prosecutor.

“She has already received what she has requested,” he said.

Elizabeth Ann Andrews and Ryan Ira Andrews are both charged with three counts of unauthorized buying and selling fish, Lee Roy Andrews two counts of unauthorized selling of fish.

Another local person charged returns to court in early November.

Mickey Roland Andrews, of the High Prairie area, is also charged and is scheduled for trial Nov. 6 on one count of unauthorized buying and selling of fish.

The four are among 33 people from the High Prairie, Faust, and Slave Lake areas, as well as other Alberta communities, facing at total of 80 charges under the General Fisheries [Alberta] Regulations by Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

The other people charged are from Morinville, Edmonton, Vegreville, Bashaw, Halkirk and Castor.

It is alleged the fish netted were primarily in Lesser Slave Lake east of High Prairie and Winagami Lake northwest of High Prairie under the guise of Metis and Treaty domestic fishing rights.

Charges include the unlawful sale, purchase and possession of fish, including lake whitefish and walleye.

During the course of the investigation, it was estimated that about 12,000 pounds of fish were illegally killed and subsequently trafficked from the two lakes.

Alberta Fish and Wildlife announced the charges Jan. 23, after concluding a two-year undercover investigation focused on trafficking fish in northern and central Alberta.

The penalty for trafficking fish is a maximum $100,000 and one year incarceration per count.

Share this post

Post Comment