Court Report

Charges stayed against two of five in Canyon Creek bust

Slave Lake
Provincial Court
April 21, 2021
Judge G.R. Ambrose

The federal Crown prosecutor stayed charges against two of the five people charged on January 26, 2021 in a drug bust in Canyon Creek.

A Leader article, ‘Five charged in Canyon Creek bust,’ says that Lakeshore Regional Police Service charged three men and two women with drug trafficking and other crimes.

The next court date for the remaining man and two women charged is April 28. says, “The decision by the Crown to stay or withdraw charges means they discontinue the prosecution. In both situations, once your charges are withdrawn or stayed by the Crown, you don’t have to go back to court.

“However, there is one important difference. Stayed charges can be ‘brought back to life’ within one year of the day they are stayed. While this tends to be rare, you should know that if you’re charged with new offences during the one-year period after you’ve had charges stayed, the stayed charges could be brought back and the Crown could prosecute you on those same charges again. If charges are withdrawn, the prosecution of those charges is finished and those same charges can never be brought back.”

At trial, Mark David Burns, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of forceful entry.
Gladue and pre-sentence reports were ordered. Sentencing was scheduled for August 18, 2021.

At trial, two brothers tried to enter into a peace bond, in exchange for having the criminal charges removed. However, only one brother was present.

The judge ordered the other to appear in person on May 12, with a warrant to hold until then. There’s no guarantee that the offer will still be on the table on May 12, but it is the same prosecutor, so it likely will be.

The one in attendance entered into a six-month peace bond with the condition to have no contact or communication with one of the three victims.

Brodie Myles Underhill (24) was in custody at Edmonton Remand Centre. He did not appear in court, but his lawyer entered guilty pleas on his behalf to various criminal charges.

On November 9, 2020, a maintenance manager at an apartment building in Slave Lake showed RCMP footage of Underhill entering the building, said the Crown. On Nov. 6 at 12:16 a.m., Underhill pried open a rear door and entered the building. In the process, he bent the door lock cover. The video footage had various angles and the officer was familiar with Underhill, so easily identified him.

Underhill pleaded guilty to mischief damage to property under $5,000.

On November 11, 2020 at 2:35 p.m., Slave Lake RCMP received a complaint of a suspicious man in the SW, said the Crown. The constable recognized him as Underhill. He was wanted on a warrant for mischief damage when he pried open a door. The officer arrested Underhill, who had a pry bar, wrenches, pliers and other tools which could be used to break into some place.

Underhill pleaded guilty to possession of break-in tools.

On December 10, 2020 at 1:20 a.m.. an RCMP officer saw a man on a bicycle, with his face covered, and wearing a backpack, said the Crown. He was acting suspiciously in a driveway. When the man saw the officer, he tried to hide his face, but the officer recognized Underhill. He was arrested. A search of the backpack produced a mask, two crowbars, a wrench, pliers, knit ski mask, and a medicine bottle with pink pills.

Underhill pleaded guilty to trespassing at night.

On March 21, 2021 at 11:45 p.m., an RCMP officer on patrol saw a suspicious man wearing a balaclava in the industrial area, said the Crown. Underhill was arrested. He had two folding knives, one gram of methamphetamine, and break-in tools. Underhill was under conditions to not have any illegal substance, weapons included knives, or break-in tools. He pleaded guilty to three charges of failure to comply.

Underhill also pleaded guilty to breach of probation for failure to report.

Underhill has a criminal record.

Underhill moved to Slave Lake from New Brunswick, said the defence. Slave Lake has been a very bad place for him. He started drinking, then doing meth. He turned to theft to support his drug habit, and has put a strain on police resources.

“His goal is to move back east,” added the defence.

Underhill was sentenced to 104 days and $150 in fines. He had credit for 44, so 60 days left to serve. The fines ($50 and $100) were each converted to one-day concurrent in prison.

At trial, Michael M. Koochin changed his plea to guilty of uttering threats to cause bodily harm. The Crown withdrew another charge.

On October 3, 2019, the victim contacted Slave Lake RCMP, said the Crown. She showed them two emails that Koochin had sent her the day before. In the first one, he said he was going to come to her workplace. In the second, a minute later he threatened to harm her. He was under conditions to have no contact direct or indirect with her.

Koochin was given a suspended sentence of two years probation. This has the same conditions as his April 14 conviction for crimes against the same victim.

Nathaniel C. Campiou (26), from Driftpile, was in custody in Slave Lake. At trial, he changed his plea to guilty of two crimes. The Crown withdrew four others.

On September 20, 2019, Slave Lake RCMP were called to the Slave Lake hospital, said the Crown. Campiou appeared to be high on some drug. He was threatening hospital staff, refusing to leave or see a doctor. The officer told Campiou he had to leave or was under arrest. Campiou left the building, but outside, he refused to leave the grounds. He told the officer ‘I’m going to beat you,’ while digging in his pocket.

It was dark out, the Crown added. The officer used his flashlight to try to figure out what was happening. The officer tried to arrest Campiou, but he struck him. In the scuffle, the two ended up on the ground, with the officer’s hand pinned and Campiou on top. There was no backup. The officer eventually got the upper hand and arrested Campiou. In the altercation, the officer lost his flashlight and the police radio was ripped off his vest.

The Crown continued: the officer searched Campiou. In his pocket, he had a large rock and something that looked like a firearm. Later tests showed it couldn’t fire a bullet as pieces were missing.

At the detachment, Campiou tried to take the officer’s taser and disarm him, said the Crown.

Campiou pleaded guilty to assaulting a peace officer and attempting to disarm a police officer.

Campiou did not have a criminal record.

Before he started using methamphetamine and marijuana, Campiou was a law-abiding citizen, said a defence lawyer acting as Campiou’s agent.

Judge Ambrose told Campiou this is “pretty serious behaviour, especially at the detachment. If that had happened in the United States, you might not be here today.”

Campiou was sentenced to 30 days concurrent for assaulting a peace officer and attempting to disarm a police officer. This equalled time served.

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