A Drumheller man was given two years in prison after pleading guilty to several property-related offenses.
Brian McHugh appeared in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, March 26. He pleaded guilty to a number of property-related crimes dating back to 2019.
On June 7, 2019, at about 2 a.m. Drumheller RCMP responded to an alarm at the ATCO Energy East Compound near Carbon. At the site, RCMP discovered duffle bags with copper wire taken from the site as well as bolt cutters. Access was gained by cutting the chain link fence. With the help of the Airdrie RCMP police dog services they located McHugh in nearby bushes wearing a facemask with more duffle bags of wire.
On June 27, 2019, police responded to a break-in at the Wintering Hills Wind Farm. The lock was cut, and the copper wire grounding system was cut, causing a safety issue for workers.
Police were contacted by another person who reported three individuals sleeping in a nearby truck. Bolt cutters and copper wire were discovered in the truck.
McHugh also pleaded guilty to a couple of fail to attend court charges, as well as a break and enter into a dwelling.
A residential break and enter and theft in Drumheller took place on March 2, 2020, and currency from Canada, the US, India, and the European Union was taken. McHugh was identified through video surveillance. He was arrested at his residence, and police found currency on his person.
The court heard how he and his partner were facing financial difficulty, and he was also injured which forced him to lose his employment. In desperation and running into the wrong people at the wrong time who told him he could make some easy cash, led to these charges.
The Crown and defense recommended a joint submission of two years in custody. Judge Fraser agreed with the submission and sentenced him to a global sentence of two years. There was also a DNA sample ordered in the sentence for the residential break and enter. He was also to make restitution of $275.74 for the stolen currency.