Hinton, Alberta – On April 25, 2022, at 7:40 a.m., Hinton RCMP received a report of a suspected impaired driver on Highway 40, south of Hinton, Alta. Police located the suspect vehicle and it was determined that it was stolen from Cochrane. The two male occupants were arrested without incident.
During the course of the investigation, Hinton RCMP located and seized the following:
· 16 ounces of methamphetamine
· 1 ounce of fentanyl
· 2 sawed off shotguns
· a prohibited magazine
· machetes, knives and break in instruments.
James Fredrick Benard (29) of Medicine Hat, Alta., and Donald Benjamin Birnie-Browne (39) of Three Hills, Alta., have been charged with the following offences:
· Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Fentanyl)
· Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Methamphetamine)
· Possession of Break In Instruments
· Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm in a Motor Vehicle
· Possession of a Prohibited Firearm
· Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
James Fredrick Benard is also charged with:
· Possession of a Firearm While Prohibited
Following a judicial hearing, Benard was remanded into custody while Birnie-Browne was released on several conditions. Both individuals are scheduled to appear in Hinton Provincial Court on May 4, 2022.
“This is a significant quantity of methamphetamine which has been removed off our streets. The seizure of these illegal drugs and firearms will have a meaningful impact for the residents of Hinton and Yellowhead County. We will continue to focus our efforts on ensuring these dangerous items do not reach our communities as we press forward with our crime reduction initiatives” says Acting Detachment Commander Sgt. Graham Gurski.
As these matters are now before the courts, no further details surrounding the investigation will be provided.
The Hinton RCMP would like to thank the public for remaining vigilant and remind residents no report is too small to call police. The Hinton RCMP continue to encourage the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future. If you see a crime in progress, dial 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.
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