Michaud expected to serve more than eight years; Fredericton man denied bail, facing drug charges

by | Oct 14, 2023

Michaud expected to serve more than eight years in prison

Walter Patrick (Ricky) Michaud, 43, of Debec, showed no emotion and made no comment when he heard two crown prosecutors recommend he spend over eight years in federal prison for drug trafficking and 17 other charges laid by RCMP.

“Do you have anything to say before sentencing?” Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean asked the accused.

Michaud stood and calmly replied: “No, I don’t, your honour.”

In jail since his arrest last September, Michaud appeared in court in custody on Oct. 13 for his sentencing hearing. The court heard he plans to move to Alberta after his release.

Following submissions from both the crown and defence counsel, Judge McLean reserved his decision on sentence until Nov. 7 at 1:30 p.m. Michaud will appear in court in custody by video at that time.

Federal Crown Prosecutor Justin Hebert recommended Michaud be sentenced to five and a half years in a penitentiary for trafficking in methamphetamine.

The crown also requested Michaud be ordered to register with the federal DNA database and that he receive a three-year driving prohibition and a 10-year ban on firearms. Michaud had a criminal record, including one conviction for drug possession in 2016.

Hebert said a harsh sentence was required to crack down on drug trafficking and provide protection for the public from serious criminal activity. Michaud was on the lam for several months, fleeing from the police on more than one occasion, often causing havoc in his wake.

Michaud was described to the court as a street to mid-level trafficker. During one arrest, he was found in possession of a significant quantity of crystal methamphetamine in pre-packed bags, along with meth pills, $3,605 in cash and two cell phones.

Crown Prosecutor Matthew Paik told the court Michaud deserved another 36 months in jail, minus time served, on the remaining 17 charges.

Paik also requested the accused be ordered to pay $9,139 in restitution for a stolen truck. He stressed Michaud’s crimes involved both guns and drugs while also suggesting the accused was likely a poor prospect for rehabilitation.

Defence Counsel Alex Carleton told the court Michaud came from a difficult background and abused drugs up until his arrest.

“This led him to incredibly dangerous and reckless decisions,” Carleton stated.

The defence argued Michaud’s trafficking was “not a sophisticated operation” and he deserved no more than 30 months in prison on the drug charge. Carleton agreed with the crown on 36 months, minus time served, for the rest of the charges, for a total of four years in prison on all counts.

“That’s not a slap on the wrist,” Carleton contended.

The defence also suggested the hefty restitution order for $9,139 might mean Michaud will have to lay out additional time in jail.

Michaud was charged by RCMP with possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking following an incident around midnight on March 11, 2022, in Teeds Mills. He was also charged with possession of stolen property (a 2013 Hyundai Elantra) as a result of the same incident. He pleaded not guilty, and the matter went to trial in June. He was found guilty after trial on Sept. 26.

Michaud appeared in provincial court in custody for trial on Aug. 30 and changed his plea to guilty on all other remaining charges laid against him by RCMP.

He was denied bail and remanded to jail in October on nine charges stemming from the day of his arrest on Sept. 27, 2022, at Bull’s Creek, including possession of a firearm without a licence (a Ruger 10/22 rifle), being an occupant of a vehicle knowing it carried a loaded gun, improper transport of a firearm, possession of a firearm dangerous to the public peace, flight from police, dangerous driving, assaulting a police officer while threatening to use a weapon (a vehicle), possession of stolen property (a Dodge Ram truck), and resisting arrest.

He was also charged with assaulting a police officer with a weapon (a vehicle), flight from police, and dangerous driving on Sept. 18, 2022, in Meductic, and pleaded guilty.

Michaud also appeared in provincial court in custody on July 21 for a verdict following two other trials. He was found guilty of flight from police, dangerous driving, and possession of stolen property (a Ford 150 half-ton) for an incident on Sept. 16, 2022, in Woodstock. The charges related to a police chase in Woodstock. 

More charges included assaulting a police officer while threatening to use a weapon (a bush saw) and resisting arrest on Sept. 6, 2022, in Debec. Michaud was found guilty on both counts.

Michaud also faced charges of assaulting a woman in Debec on Aug. 27, 2022. He was found not guilty of the assault on June 29 after the alleged victim failed to appear to testify at the trial.

Denied bail on drug trafficking charges

Keith Reid, 33, of Fredericton, appeared in provincial court in custody on Oct. 13 for the conclusion of a bail hearing. He was denied bail and remanded to jail. He returns to court for plea on Oct. 24 at 1:30 p.m.

Reid was charged by RCMP with possession of methamphetamine and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a firearm (a shotgun) without a licence, and improper storage of a firearm in connection with an incident on Oct. 3 in Hartland. He also faces two counts of breaching a release order that includes other matters in Fredericton.

A press release from the RCMP said the charges were laid after a vehicle was stopped in Woodstock, and the driver was arrested at the scene. A search of the individual led to the seizure of a quantity of crystal meth. A 19-year-old female passenger was also found in possession of meth pills and crystal meth and was released from custody until her court appearance.

Police also executed a search warrant at a residence on Main Street in Hartland, where cocaine, crystal meth, meth pills, a loaded shotgun, shotgun shells, weapons and drug paraphernalia were found as part of the investigation.

Arrested and held for bail hearing

Kyle Roy MacDonald, 35, of Moncton, appeared in provincial court in custody via teleconference on Oct. 13 after being arrested on a warrant. He returns to court in custody by video for a bail hearing on Oct. 16 at 1:30 p.m.

MacDonald was charged by RCMP with failing to appear for trial and breach of a release order. He was released from custody with conditions on Feb. 24, 2022, but then failed to appear for his trial on Aug. 12, 2022.

MacDonald was charged with assaulting a female victim, uttering threats, and committing mischief causing property damage to her vehicle following an incident on March 19, 202, at Hartley Settlement.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges laid by RCMP. Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean ordered MacDonald to attend court for his trial and have no contact with the complainant.

Trial could not proceed

Melissa Gunn of Perth Andover appeared for trial in provincial court on Oct. 13 to answer an assault charge. The crown called no evidence after the complainant failed to appear in court to testify.

As a result, Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean handed Gunn a directed verdict of not guilty. Gunn was charged by RCMP with assaulting another woman with a metal bar on Oct. 11, 2022, at Perth-Andover.

In custody awaiting plea

Ryan James Smith, 35, of Woodstock, formerly of Perth, will appear in provincial court in custody for plea on Oct. 31 at 11:15 a.m. He appeared in court for a bail hearing on Oct. 12 and reserved his bail until later.

Smith was charged by RCMP with possession of a firearm while prohibited, possession of a stolen vehicle, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing it carried a firearm, obstructing police, transporting a firearm in a careless manner, and possession of a firearm without a licence, stemming from an incident on Sept. 30 in Hartland. He was also charged with possession of a stolen car, committing mischief and driving while suspended for another incident in Meductic.

Arrested for failing to appear

Adam James Finnamore, 28, of Moncton, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Oct. 13 after being arrested on a warrant. He returns to court in custody on Oct. 20 at 9:30 a.m. to set a date for his bail hearing. The court heard he is also facing charges in Moncton.

Finnamore was charged with assault causing bodily harm to another man in relation to an incident on May 6, 2022, at Upper Kent. He pleaded not guilty, and a trial date was set for Oct. 12 when he failed to appear.

Plaster Rock man faces sentencing

William (Billy) Harding, 33, of Plaster Rock, appeared in provincial court in custody for his trial on Oct. 12 and changed his plea to guilty on six charges laid by RCMP. He returns to court for sentencing on Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m.

Harding pleaded guilty to unlawful entry at dwelling house, breach of a release order, and uttering threats for an incident on April 24 in Perth Andover.

He also pleaded guilty to breach of an undertaking and unlawful entry at a dwelling house for incidents on April 16 and April 17 in Perth-Andover, and guilty to theft from the Ultramar in Perth-Andover on April 1.

Harding appeared in court in custody by video on July 11 for a fitness hearing after completing a 30-day mental health assessment at the Restigouche hospital, and he was found fit to stand trial.  Harding was denied bail at an earlier court appearance on May 8.

On April 20, Harding appeared in provincial court in custody for a bail hearing and was released with conditions. However, he was arrested and taken back into custody six days after his release.

Trial adjourned for Neqotkuk man

Gavin Schloemer, 33, of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), appeared for trial in provincial court on Oct. 12 after pleading not guilty to a break and enter charge.  The trial was adjourned until Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m. at the request of his defence counsel.

Schloemer was charged by RCMP with resisting arrest on June 21 at Neqotkuk; two counts of assaulting police on June 21 at Williamstown; and break and enter at a dwelling house on Oct. 3, 2021, at Neqotkuk. His trial for the other three charges will be held on June 17, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.

He also appeared in provincial court on Oct. 10 to answer a charge of failing to appear. That matter was adjourned for plea until Oct. 31 at 9:30 a.m.

Schloemer was arrested on a warrant when he came to court on Aug. 29 for monitoring about his trial. He was held in jail for the day and then released with conditions. The warrant was issued for failing to appear in court in December.

Sentencing set on raft of charges

Vinal Todd Hatto, 38, of Woodstock, will appear in provincial court in custody by video for sentencing on Oct. 31 at 1:30 p.m. on multiple charges laid by Woodstock Police.  His sentencing was set for Oct. 10 but was adjourned to the new date at the request of his defence counsel.

Hatto was charged with possession of methamphetamine, breach of probation, and two counts of possession of a handgun while prohibited concerning an incident on April 4, 2022, in Woodstock. He pleaded guilty.

Hatto also pleaded guilty to flight from police, dangerous driving, and breach of probation on May 11, 2022; guilty to breach of a release order on Aug. 9, 2022; guilty to breach of an undertaking, breaching curfew, and breach of probation on June 29, 2022; guilty to possession of stolen property (cheques) on June 30, 2022; guilty to breaching curfew on Aug. 4, 2022; and breaching curfew on Aug. 5, 2022.

Other charges of flight from police and assaulting a police officer on May 2, 2022, were withdrawn by the crown. Hatto was denied bail and remanded to jail following his bail hearing in October. He was arrested on a warrant after he failed to appear in provincial court and was taken into custody and charged with breach of a release order. The court heard he is also facing more charges in Fredericton.

Sentencing set for Hartland man

Jonathon Daniel Stockford, 35, of Hartland, will appear in provincial court for sentencing on Oct. 24 at 1:30 p.m. after changing his plea to guilty on charges laid by RCMP and Woodstock Police.

Stockford appeared in court in custody on Sept. 14 and pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a release order and committing mischief by damaging an ankle bracelet for an incident on March 28 at Hartland.  He was later released with conditions.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property (a motorcycle), breach of probation, and breaching his curfew for an incident on Oct. 12, 2022, in Woodstock; and guilty to theft, stemming from a separate incident on July 4, 2022, at the Atlantic Superstore in Woodstock.

Stockford was scheduled to appear in provincial court for plea in November but failed to appear after being arrested on other charges in Fredericton and Saint John. He had been in custody since April. The court heard other charges are being transferred from both jurisdictions for his sentencing hearing on Oct. 24.

In custody on 14 charges

Philip Sapper-Solomon, 30, of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), appeared in provincial court in custody via teleconference on Oct. 13 on 14 charges laid by RCMP. He returns to court in custody by video for a bail hearing on Oct. 19 at 1:30 p.m.

Sappier-Solomon was arrested in connection with an incident on Sept. 17 near Beechwood. He was charged with possession of a restricted weapon (a handgun) while prohibited; possession of ammunition while prohibited; possession of a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence; two counts of possession of a restricted weapon without a licence; being an occupant of a vehicle knowing it carried a firearm; possession of a loaded, restricted firearm (a handgun); assault and assault by choking involving a female victim; assault with a weapon (a cell phone); two counts of uttering threats; committing mischief causing property damage to a phone and tires, and mischief causing damage to a police vehicle.

Trial adjourned until next April

Matthew Eric Hughes, 29, of Perth-Andover, appeared for trial in provincial court on Oct. 11 after pleading not guilty to two sex charges laid by RCMP.

After one day of testimony, the trial was adjourned until April 3, 2024, at 1:30 p.m., and on May 9, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. A monitoring date was also set for Dec. 13 at 9:30 a.m. The court heard the adjournment was necessary due to disclosure issues related to testimony given during the trial on Oct. 11.

Hughes was charged with touching a female minor for a sexual purpose; and invitation to touching for a sexual purpose, stemming from an incident on Oct. 20, 2015, near Perth-Andover. He was released on an undertaking to have no contact with the complainant.

Trial date set for Moncton man

Ryley Smith of Moncton will appear in provincial court on Nov. 7 at 1:30 p.m. for monitoring about his upcoming trial. He appeared in provincial court in custody for a bail hearing on Aug. 8 and was released with conditions.

Smith was charged by RCMP with assault with a weapon (a bottle), assault involving a female victim, breach of probation, and breach of an undertaking concerning an incident on July 25 in Lower Woodstock. He pleaded not guilty, and a trial date was set for Feb. 16, 2024, at 9:30 p.m.

As part of his release, Smith was ordered to report to the police weekly and have no contact with the complainant. He is residing at a residence in Salisbury.

Back in custody on two charges

Steven Frank Powers, 60, of Plaster Rock, appeared in provincial court in custody on Oct. 10 and was remanded to jail. He returns to court in custody by video for a bail hearing on Oct. 18 at 9:30 a.m.

Powers was charged by RCMP with assault and breach of a release order for an incident on Oct. 9 in Plaster Rock. He was released from custody on Sept. 26 after serving time on other charges.

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