Keith Lessard Faces Load of Charges: Handgun Seized in Kapuskasing Roadside Arrest

OPP Seize Handgun
James Bay OPP Seized this 9mm handgun

44-Year-Old Local Man Faces Multiple Charges Following Traffic Stop

A man from Kapuskasing has been hit with multiple weapon and driving-related charges following a traffic stop on Government Road in the town.

Traffic Stop Leads to Weapon Seizure

On July 29, 2023, at about 3:30 p.m., an officer from the James Bay Detachments of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) stopped a vehicle on Government Road in Kapuskasing. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the driver had consumed alcoholic beverages. The police found a 9mm handgun and a .22 caliber rifle in the vehicle.

Accused Faces Multiple Charges

44-year-old Keith Lessard of Kapuskasing was subsequently arrested and charged with numerous offenses under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Cannabis Act. The charges and their potential penalties upon conviction include:

  • Failure or refusal to comply with demand: This involves refusing to comply with a law enforcement officer’s lawful demand, like a breathalyzer test, which could result in fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
  • Dangerous operation (of a conveyance): This refers to operating a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the public, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
  • Careless use of firearm, weapon, prohibited device or ammunition (two counts): This entails handling or using firearms or weapons without reasonable precautions for the safety of others, carrying a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.
  • Possession of firearm at unauthorized place: This refers to having a firearm in a place where it is not legally permitted, potentially leading to up to 5 years imprisonment.
  • Occupant of motor vehicle knowing there was a firearm: This involves knowingly being in a vehicle where there is a firearm, which could result in up to 10 years imprisonment.
  • Transfer firearm, prohibited or restricted weapon without authority: This refers to giving or selling a firearm or prohibited weapon to someone without the proper authorization or license, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.
  • Have care or control of a vehicle or boat with cannabis in open original packaging: This offense under the Cannabis Act can result in a fine if the individual is found guilty.
  • Drive motor vehicle, no permit: Driving without a valid driver’s license can result in a fine.
  • Fail to surrender insurance card: This involves failing to provide proof of insurance when requested by a police officer, which can lead to a fine.

Lessard was also issued a 90-day Administrative Driver’s Licence Suspension (ADLS) and his vehicle was impounded for seven days at his expense.

He was later released and is due to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Kapuskasing on August 28, 2023.

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