Seven years in prison for year-long crime wave

by | Jul 10, 2023

Timothy David O’Donnell, 34, of Woodstock, was sentenced on July 10 to a total of seven years in federal prison, minus time served, for a one-year crime wave that involved drug trafficking, firearm offences, fraud, forgery, and theft.

O’Donnell appeared in provincial court in custody by video on a multitude of charges laid by Woodstock Police and RCMP. He listened intently during the hearing but showed no emotion upon hearing a hefty prison sentence was being imposed.

In addition to a prison term, Associate Chief Judge also prohibited O’Donnell from the use of firearms and ordered him to register with the federal DNA database. McLean advised the accused to seek counseling for mental health and addiction during his incarceration.

O’Donnell had a limited prior criminal record. He was arrested and denied bail last November. All items seized during the police investigation will be forfeited to the crown.

Judge McLean reviewed the lengthy evidence before the court, describing a “staggering” number of charges connected to 12 separate incidents. The judge noted O’Donnell’s criminal behaviour escalated over the course of a year and only ended when he was jailed to await the outcome of the 24 charges against him.

During his final brush with police, O’Donnell was caught with $20,000 worth of hard drugs in his vehicle while an electronic monitoring device was attached to his ankle. On more than one occasion, he was also found in possession of firearms while under a police undertaking not to have guns.

Judge McLean said O’Donnell’s drug dealing combined with multiple acts of fraud, forgery and theft exhibited a “flagrant, constant and uninterrupted” pattern of criminality that also displayed an ongoing disregard for police orders not to carry firearms.

During a previous court appearance, Defence Counsel Michael Mallory explained O’Donnell had a difficult childhood that eventually landed him in foster care. He was also a victim of sexual abuse at a young age and struggles with mental health issues. Still, the defence said O’Donnell graduated from high school and moved to Alberta where he was employed in heavy equipment. He returned to Woodstock in 2017 and found work in the woods.

When the pandemic hit, O’Donnell lost his job and turned to drugs. He tried to get help for his addiction but fell into the drug trade to support his habit.

O’Donnell pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and indictable possession of methamphetamine for an incident on Oct. 25, 2022, in Woodstock. Another charge of possession of morphine for the purpose of trafficking was withdrawn by the crown.

The court heard police stopped his vehicle on Charles Street in Woodstock and discovered an axe, a machete, and a stash of drugs inside including cocaine, crystal meth, morphine pills, and meth pills. O’Donnell was wearing an ankle bracelet at the time.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a cocaine press following the execution of a search warrant at a Park Street residence on May 25, 2022, in Woodstock. A quantity of cocaine was seized by police along with the cocaine press, money, two sets of scales, score sheets, and a stolen checkbook.

More guilty pleas were entered for improper storage of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a licence, and two counts of breach of an undertaking for incidents on March 21, 2022, and May 25, 2022, at the same residence in Woodstock.

He pleaded guilty to possessing prohibited firearms without a licence (a sawed-off, pump action shotgun, and a sawed-off 410 rifle), and guilty to breach of an undertaking on May 13, 2022, in Woodstock. These charges were also the result of a search warrant executed at a Park Street residence.

O’Donnell pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm to another man for a May 20, 2022, incident at the same Park Street residence. The court heard O’Donnell struck the victim in the face and punched him in the head several times during a shouting match. The man required surgery on his face.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of a non-restricted firearm without a licence (an SKS rifle), improper storage of a firearm, and breaching his curfew on March 21, 2022. These charges also resulted from a search warrant at Park Street.

He pleaded guilty to using forged documents ($9,700 in cheques), and guilty to possession of stolen property (cheques) for incidents between Aug. 13, 2021, and Aug. 30, 2021, in Woodstock.

O’Donnell must pay $9,700 in restitution to a local business for forging five cheques and depositing them into his account at TD Bank. Another stolen cheque for $2,000 was passed to a separate individual to cash in exchange for a portion of the proceeds. The cheques were stolen from a McKenzie Corner residence by a home support worker and given to O’Donnell.

O’Donnell pleaded guilty to using a forged document and possession of stolen property (cheques) for incidents between Oct. 3, 2021, and Oct. 31, 2021, in Woodstock, and possession of a stolen checkbook on May 25, 2022, in Woodstock. These charges involved forged cheques totaling $9,800 that were stolen from a Dugan Road residence by a home support worker and given to O’Donnell.

He also pleaded guilty to using a forged document (cheques) on Nov. 22, 2021, and theft between Dec. 2 and Dec. 21, 2021, in Woodstock. These charges involved cheques stolen from a Woodstock residence where O’Donnell was staying. Three cheques totaling $705 were deposited into his account, while a fourth cheque for $2,000 bounced.

More guilty pleas were entered for the theft of a $280 dollar jacket from the Canadian Tire Store on Jan. 31, 2022; theft of a drill from Napa Auto Parts on Feb. 16, 2022, and theft of $158 worth of items from the Atlantic Superstore on Feb. 7, 2022, in Woodstock. O’Donnell was ordered to refund the $280 to the Canadian Tire Store for the stolen jacket.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while suspended for incidents in Woodstock on Jan. 9 and Jan. 10, 2022. Several other charges were withdrawn by the crown.

Sentencing delayed for convicted drug trafficker

Janet Elizabeth Holmes, 32, of Perth-Andover, appeared in provincial court in custody on July 10 for sentencing on more charges. Her sentencing was adjourned until Aug. 31 at 9:30 a.m. at the request of Defence Counsel Alex Carleton.

Holmes is currently serving eight years in federal prison on drug and firearm charges. She appeared in provincial court in custody in March following a second trial for drug trafficking. She was found guilty after trial in May and a date for her sentencing was set.

Holmes was charged following a police bust at her residence in Perth-Andover on April 29, 2022. She was charged by RCMP with unauthorized possession of a firearm, four counts of drug trafficking in cocaine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and methamphetamine, and unsafe storage of a firearm.

RCMP also charged Holmes with possession of a firearm without a licence and improper storage of a firearm for another incident on Jan. 26, 2022, in Perth-Andover. She pleaded not guilty and her trial was scheduled for the end of August. However, her defence lawyer told the court on Monday efforts were being made to come a resolution on the remaining charges before her next court date.

Arrested and released with conditions

Silas Robert Burtt, 22, of Hartland, appeared in provincial court in custody on July 10 for a bail hearing and was released with conditions, including wearing an electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle.

Burtt was charged by RCMP with possession of stolen goods and breach of probation, concerning an incident on July 9 in East Brighton. He returns to court for plea on July 25 at 9:30 a.m.

Sentencing set for Johnville man

Ryan Troy O’Donnell, 26, of Johnville, appeared in provincial court in custody on July 10 and changed his plea to guilty on charges laid by RCMP. He returns to court for sentencing on Aug. 1 at 1:30 p.m.

O’Donnell was charged by RCMP with robbery with violence, breach of a release order, and breach of probation following an incident on March 1 at Tobique Narrows. On Monday, he pleaded guilty to the lesser included offence of indictable assault and theft and guilty to both breaches.

He also pleaded guilty to assault on a female victim, uttering threats, and breach of probation, stemming from an incident on Jan. 25 near Johnville and guilty to breach of probation for failing to report to a probation officer on June 17, 2022.

O’Donnell appeared in court for a bail hearing on March 20. He was denied bail and remanded to jail. He appeared in court in custody on March 2 after being arrested on a warrant for failing to appear in court.


Sentenced to time served

Jed W.L. DeLong, 36, of Wilmot, appeared for trial in provincial court on July 7 and changed his plea to guilty on charges laid by RCMP. He was sentenced to time served and released from custody.

Delong appeared in court in custody on May 10 and was denied bail. He was charged with two counts of breach of probation, two counts of committing mischief, and one count of breaching an undertaking, concerning incidents on May 5 and May 8 in Wilmot. A mischief charge was withdrawn by the crown.

Bail hearing delayed

James Blair Hovey, 27, of Perth Andover, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on July 10 for a bail hearing. The hearing was adjourned until July 26 at 1:30 p.m.

Hovey appeared in court in custody on June 27 after being arrested on a warrant. He was charged with breach of a release order by failing to attend court for plea on June 13.

Hovey appeared in provincial court in custody on May 18 for a bail hearing and was released with conditions, including wearing an electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle. On June 13, the court heard he was working outside the area near the Quebec border and could not get to court to make his plea.

Hovey was first arrested on a warrant on 12 charges. He was charged by RCMP with two counts of assault on a female victim, two counts of assault with a weapon (a knife and bear spray), three counts of possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, pointing a firearm at another person, careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm (a shotgun) without a licence, assault while threatening to use a weapon (a machete), and committing mischief causing property damage to an iPhone, laptop computer, and a flat-screen TV. The incidents allegedly occurred at Plaster Rock between Dec. 14 and Dec. 20, 2022, and between Feb. 1 and Feb. 28 of this

year.

He appeared in court in custody on May 1 for a bail hearing and was released with conditions but allegedly breached his release order. He was later charged with break and enter at a dwelling house and theft, concerning an incident on May 12.

Assault charge withdrawn

The crown withdrew an assault charge laid against Dustin James Hamilton, 29, of Northampton, when he appeared for trial in provincial court on July 7.

Hamilton was charged by RCMP with assaulting a female victim in connection with an incident on Aug. 9, 2022, at Mapledale. He pleaded not guilty. On July 7, the crown decided not to proceed with the case.

Charged under the SPCA Act

Andrew Joseph St. Peter, 30, of Plaster Rock, will appear in provincial court on Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. to answer charges laid under the SPCA Act. The matter was scheduled for July 7 but was adjourned for plea.

St. Peter was charged by SPCA officers with willful neglect of an animal and failing to provide medical attention to a dog, concerning incidents on Jan. 1-2 in Plaster Rock. He was on the docket to appear in court on June 13 but did not attend. The court heard St. Peter had been admitted to the Restigouche hospital. A warrant is being held on file until his next court appearance. The court heard St. Peter is also facing charges in Edmundston.

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