Second group member fined for violating caribou closure
A second member of the group caught snowshoeing in a closed area near Mount Edith Cavell in late December has received a $300 fine.
Jahan Ahmed was slapped with the fine on March 22 in Jasper court, which was the same penalty Anna Elizabeth Faris received on March 8.
Both were part of a group caught on Dec. 29, 2011 by a park warden illegally venturing into an area that had been closed as part of Parks Canada’s effort to protect woodland caribou.
Court heard that the group’s snowshoe tracks proceeded past a gate and sign describing the closure.
Fine and restitution for stolen camping mat
A man who visited Jasper last summer and stole a camping mat from a local climbing store was fined and ordered to pay the store back.
Alexander Fauque had initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft under $5,000 but later changed his plea and admitted to taking the mat from Gravity Gear in June 2011.
Court heard that Fauque had been seen walking around the store carrying the mat and then leaving without paying for it.
Under a joint submission from Crown and defence attorneys, who noted that this was Fauque’s first offence on record, he received a $250 fine and was ordered to pay the store $139 in restitution.
Former soldier gets probation for weapons charges
A longtime member of the Canadian Forces who was caught illegally transporting a variety of high-powered weapons and ammunition through Jasper last year received a suspended sentence and one year of probation.
Hinton resident Gregory Scott Heuser, 52, has been in custody since Aug. 29, 2011, when he was arrested in Jasper National Park.
Court heard that, on that day, the park warden service received a call of a person “behaving unusually in the bush.” The caller also provided a licence plate number which was connected to an outstanding arrest warrant.
Wardens responded to the scene where they found and arrested Heuser. Court heard that Heuser was co-operative with authorities and, out of concern for their safety, volunteered the fact that there were loaded weapons in his vehicle.
That led to 19 separate weapons-related charges. Heuser ultimately pleaded guilty to six, including possession of a prohibited weapon and of a prohibited device, in the form of high-capacity magazines. The other 13 charges were withdrawn.
Heuser, who served as a member of the military in Germany, the Balkans and Afghanistan, was described as comfortable around these types of guns and ammunition. He wasn’t using the weapons for hunting and had “no real reason” to be carrying them in his vehicle, court heard.
In addition to the year of probation, Heuser forfeited the weapons to authorities. He also received a three-year weapons prohibition and agreed to dispose of several other firearms he legally owns within seven business days of his release from custody.