News | DrumhellerMail - Page #14
Last updateThu, 30 Nov 2023 8am

Drumheller RCMP, partners execute search warrant

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Two suspects have been arrested following an investigation into drug trafficking which began in September 2023.
Drumheller RCMP initiated an investigation into drug trafficking on September 27 this year following the discovery of a crashed drone near the Drumheller Institution. During the investigation, multiple partners and RCMP Support Units were engaged.
This included the Drumheller Institution, RCMP Southern Alberta Crime Reduction Unit (SACRU), Drumheller General Investigation Unit (GIS), Strathmore GIS, RCMP Forensic Identification Section (FIS), RCMP Special Investigations, RCMP Auto Theft Unit, and more.
On Wednesday, November 1, a police operation led by Drumheller GIS was initiated in the area of Township Road 252 and Range Road 185 in rural Wheatland County.
RCMP officers from Drumheller, Strathmore GIS, and the RCMP Emergency Response Team also assisted.
During the operation, a suspect vehicle was intercepted in the area and two suspects were arrested. A search warrant was also executed at a rural property.
As a result of the two-month long investigation and search warrant a number of items were seized: a pick up truck, quad, motorcycle, enclosed trailer, holiday trailer, flat deck trailer, suspected stolen items such as tools and equipment, 295 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 233 tablets of suspected fentanyl, contraband cigarettes, drone parts and accessories consistent with drug trafficking, two air guns/pellet guns, brass knuckles, printers and material consistent with VIN tampering and license plate forgery.
The operation also included the execution of a search warrant in a jail cell at the Drumheller Institution where suspected Controlled Substances and evidence of drug trafficking was located.
As a result of this operation, Drumheller RCMP laid a total of 30 charges.
John McConnell, 41, and Hailey Morrison, 30, both residents of Wheatland County have been charged with:
Possession of Methamphetamine for the Purpose of Trafficking
Trafficking of Methamphetamine
Possession of Proceeds of Crime
Possession of Stolen Property for the Purpose of Trafficking
Possess Stolen Property
Fraudulent Concealment
Tamper with Vehicle Identification Number
Furthermore, McConnell is charged with:
Trafficking of Methamphetamine
Possession of Methamphetamine
Fail to comply with an Undertaking Condition
Fail to comply with a Release Order
Operate Motor Vehicle while Prohibited
Possess Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose
Operate a Motor Vehicle Without Subsisting Registration
Operate Uninsured Motor Vehicle
Furthermore, Morrison is charged with Possession of Ammunition while Prohibited.
Both McConnell and Morrison were taken before a Justice for a bail hearing.
McConnell was remanded into custody and his matters are scheduled to be heard in the Strathmore Court of Justice on Tuesday, November 7.
Morrison was released from custody on a $2,500 Promise to Pay Release Order with multiple conditions. She is scheduled to appear in the Drumheller Court of Justice on Friday, November 24.
Drumheller RCMP and partners continue to investigate this matter and additional charges are pending.
If you have any information regarding these matters, please contact Drumheller RCMP at 403.823.7590 or contact your local Police Service. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

Guilty pleas accepted for man charged in fatal Highway 21 collision


Facts were read into the court record regarding a horrific crash on Highway 21 north of Trochu in June 2022, which took the lives of two young people.
Richard Bell of Elnora appeared in Alberta Court of Justice in Drumheller on Tuesday, October 31.
The Justice accepted guilty pleas to two charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, one charge of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm and one charge of failing to comply with a lawful demand.
Bell was facing charges stemming from a collision on June 17, which claimed the lives of Macy Boyce, 20, and Ethan Halford, 21.
At the court appearance, exhibits were entered and a presentence report was ordered.
Sentencing has been scheduled for February 1, 2024

New lawyer beings articles at Kloot and Associates

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The firm of Kloot and Associates has fortified its ranks, bringing on Jaco (Jack) la Grange.
la Grange is originally from South Africa, and he practiced law for about nine years in Bloemfontein, the judicial Capital of South Africa. He also has a masters in International Trade Law.
Prior to coming to Canada, he spent three years teaching on Jeju Island in South Korea, where he met his partner, and they eventually settled in Calgary.
He connected with Kloot and was welcomed into the practice.
“I actually found Colin online as another South African, and I was intrigued because I had visited Drumheller in the past, and I found it lovely. So I thought this is a very interesting route I could take," he said.
While he has experience in law, to practice, he was taken on to article under Colin Kloot, who has experience as a principal for Students at Law.
“He will probably be my final student. I am very excited to have him on board and to create continuity in the firm. I have nothing but the highest expectations for his abilities,” said Kloot. “We are looking forward to the next year of him completing his article successfully and joining our bar.”
To get to this point, he had to complete a number of NCA exams and take a course to get what is equivalent to a Canadian Law Degree.
“I have my qualifications, and now I am just doing my articles," said la Grange.
He will fill an important role in general practice at the firm as Bill Herman is planning to end his practice at the end of March.
So far, he is enjoying the small-town life of Drumheller and the friendliness of the residents, even enjoying an impromptu offer to help him move in.
“It is so refreshing… the city is still in my blood, so I am adapting to life here. It’s not hard, but I think the people make it very easy to as well. Everyone has been so nice.”


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