RCMP targeted enforcement project a crucial step for Pelican Narrows says PBCN Chief

RCMP/Submitted RCMP seized five guns, 210 grams of methamphetamine, and made 12 arrests during a targeted enforcement project in the community of Pelican Narrows from Feb. 9-11.

RCMP officers seized five guns and 210 grams of methamphetamine during a targeted enforcement project that ran Feb. 9-11 in the community of Pelican Narrows.

The Pelican Narrows RCMP detachment and La Ronge Crime Reduction Team (CRT) took part in the project. They also arrested two suspects, all of which were remanded into custody.

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN) Chief Karen Bird said the enforcement project is a crucial step in the community’s battle against drug and substance abuse issues linked to activity.

“We are deeply grateful for the RCMP’s efforts to directly confront these challenges,” Bird said in a press release. “Every arrest and every ounce of drugs taken out of our community is a step towards reclaiming our community from the grips of gangs and drug trafficking. It’s about taking back our future.”

Bird said PBCN plans to build on this momentum by doubling down on its commitment to provide positive alternatives that address the root cause of involvement in gangs and drug activities.

“(This) operation is part of our collective commitment with law enforcement to move forward toward a path of healing, safety, and prosperity for Pelican Narrows, free from the influence of gangs,” Bird said.

Pelican Narrows declared a state of emergency in October following increased acts of violence in the community. Conditions became so bad the local health clinic stopped providing non-urgent care because staff were too busy dealing with medical emergencies.

Saskatchewan RCMP North District Insp. Stephen Bergerman said the arrests and seizures are a significant step, and show the RCMP’s commitment to community safety.

“Violence and drug trafficking will not be tolerated in Pelican Narrows,” Bergerman said. “The Crime Reduction Team and Pelican Narrows RCMP members did an excellent job over the weekend—and our efforts will continue. We’d like to thank the members of Pelican Narrows community for their patience and assistance as we executive this successful enforcement project.”

RCMP officers began the enforcement project on Feb. 9 by searching for Ashton Ballantyne, who was wanted on multiple warrants including assault and assault with a weapon. Ballantyne eventually turned himself in to police. He faces seven firearms-related charges, including one count of weapon trafficking.

 The same day, officers arrested a male youth who was observed discarded a hatchet and machete while running away from police. The youth faces two charges, and cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

On Feb. 10, officers arrested Earl Ballantyne, 30, and Raeanna Michel, 24, both from Pelican Narrows. They each face six firearms related charges. Ballantyne also faces three counts of breaching a release order condition. He was originally arrested on outstanding warrants.

Officers also charged three people with possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose following a traffic stop on Feb. 10. Officers made the arrests after observing open alcohol in the vehicle. They later found and seized roughly 60 grams of methamphetamine and a hatchet.

Police have arrested and charged Angelique Michel, 31, Glen Ballantyne, 29, and Samara Linklater, 19.

Officers later made four arrests, seized two guns, and seized roughly 150 grams of methamphetamine after executing a search warrant at a residence in Pelican Narrows.

Christa Sewap, 33, Gavin McCallum, 30, Colton Bighetty, 27, and Nadine Linklater, 19, face a combined 35 charges in connection with the case.