Fort Frances: Five Face Drug Trafficking Charges

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Drugs Seized

Fort Frances – News – A traffic stop in the Town of Fort Frances has resulted in five individuals being arrested and charged for numerous Criminal Code (CC) and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) offences.

On January 27, 2023, shortly after midnight, members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Rainy River District Detachment in Fort Frances initiated a traffic stop on a motor vehicle after observing the vehicle commit a moving violation.

Through investigation, it was determined that the driver of the motor vehicle was driving while under suspension. The driver was subsequently placed under arrest and further investigation was conducted.

As a result of the investigation, officers seized approximately 60 grams of suspected methamphetamine, as well as a quantity of other suspected illicit substances including fentanyl and cocaine. Canadian currency and items associated with drug trafficking were also seized.

Jeremy OLSEN, 46-years-old, from Arborg, Manitoba has been arrested and charged with:

·        Fail to Comply with a Release Order Other than to Attend Court, contrary to Section 145(5)(a) of the CC – four counts.

·        Possession of a Schedule I Substance (Methamphetamine) for the Purpose of Trafficking, contrary to Section 5(2) of the CDSA.

·        Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000, contrary to Section 354(1)(a) of the CC.

·        Possession of a Schedule I Substance (Fentanyl), contrary to Section 4(1) of the CDSA.

·        Possession of a Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to Section 4(1) of the CDSA.

·        Driving While Under Suspension, contrary to Section 53(1) of the Highway Traffic Act.

Jonathan BOB, 38-years-old, from Onigaming First Nation; Harley GUTKNECHT, 27-years-old, from Kenora; Jack VERNON, 40-years-old from Kenora; and Joseph LAVALLEE, 35-years-old, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, have been arrested and charged with:

·        Possession of a Schedule I Substance (Methamphetamine) for the Purpose of Trafficking, contrary to Section 5(2) of the CDSA.

·        Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000, contrary to Section 354(1)(a) of the CC.

·        Possession of a Schedule I Substance (Fentanyl), contrary to Section 4(1) of the CDSA.

·        Possession of a Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to Section 4(1) of the CDSA.

BOB faces additional charges of Failing to Comply with a Release Order contrary to Section 145(5)(a) of the CC, as well as Possession of a Forged Document with Intent contrary to Section 368(1)(d) of the CC.

LAVALLEE faces an additional charge of Fail to Comply with a Release Order Other than to Attend Court contrary to Section 145(5)(a) of the CC – three counts.

All accused are being held in custody and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Fort Frances on January 27, 2023, for a bail hearing.


Any person with information regarding the illegal possession and trafficking of drugs should immediately contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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