Woodstock Provincial Court: Two year sentence for drugs, theft, weapons charge; six months sentence for break-in and jail riot

by | Nov 18, 2023

Two years in jail for drugs, carrying a hatchet, theft

James Morgan DeMerchant, 22, of Woodstock, was sentenced to two years in jail, minus time served, when he appeared in provincial court in custody on Nov. 16. He pleaded guilty to multiple charges laid by Woodstock Police. 

Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean also placed him on probation for 12 months. He was ordered to register with the federal DNA database and must attend counselling for mental health and drug addiction. He was also prohibited from the use of firearms.

DeMerchant was charged with possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, resisting arrest, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace (a hatchet), and breach of probation in connection with incidents during the early morning hours of March 7 in downtown Woodstock. He was arrested after police received reports of an individual attempting to steal from vehicles. 

DeMerchant attempted to flee on foot but was soon taken into custody at an apartment on Queen Street. The court heard a quantity of crystal meth, including ice pills, was found in his possession valued at approximately $1,000. The drugs were packaged in dime bags and pill bottles and were stored in his pocket and a backpack. The accused left the backpack on the ground when he ran away from police.

DeMerchant was also charged with theft and breach of probation for stealing an Amazon package from a residence in Woodstock on March 15. He had a prior criminal record and has been in custody since his arrest in March. He was later denied bail and remanded.

Seven months in jail or time served for Neqotkuk man

Brandon Michael Francis, 28, of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), was sentenced to seven months in jail or time served after pleading guilty to charges laid by RCMP. He was placed on 12 months of probation and was released from custody with conditions on Nov. 16.

Francis was in custody for eight months before his release. Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean ordered him to seek counselling for mental health and drug addiction as part of his probation.

Francis pleaded guilty to two counts of breach of a release order and committing mischief concerning incidents at Neqotkuk on April 5 and April 24. He was wearing an ankle bracelet during the incident on April 24 when he cut it off.

RCMP also charged Francis with assault with a weapon (a metal bar) involving a male victim following an incident on Oct. 27, 2022, at Neqotkuk. 

Judge McLean found him guilty of common assault after a trial. Francis returns to court for sentencing on that charge on Dec. 8 at 1:30 p.m.

He was also charged by RCMP with assault while threatening to use a weapon, unlawful entry at a dwelling house, and pointing a firearm on Oct. 8, 2022, at Neqotkuk. He was scheduled for trial on those charges on Nov. 16, but the matter did not proceed after Francis agreed to sign a 12-month peace bond. He had a prior criminal record.

Francis was found not guilty after trial on another charge of breach of a release order related to an incident on April 20 at Neqotkuk. Just before his arrest, Francis was released with conditions, including wearing an electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle. He appeared in court again in custody and was denied bail.

Six months in jail for break-in, jail riot

Brandon Jeffrey Cote, 28, of no fixed address, appeared in court in custody on Nov. 16 and was sentenced to six months in jail, minus time served, on one set of charges laid by RCMP.

Cote pleaded guilty to breaking into the vacant Cozy Cabins Motel, uttering threats to the owners, and obstructing police on Aug. 18, 2022, in Lower Woodstock; guilty to breaching an undertaking (curfew) on Oct. 11, 2022, in Woodstock, and guilty to mischief causing property damage to the Madawaska jail during a riot at the institution on Jan. 29, 2022.

Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean placed Cote on 12 months of probation and ordered him to pay $1,765 in restitution for damage to a TV, phone and furniture at the jail. He was also ordered to register with the federal DNA database. Any weapons found in his possession during the motel break-in (a knife and baton) were forfeited to the crown.

Defence Counsel Lindsay Paul told the court Cote was homeless and “merely seeking shelter” when he broke into the vacant motel. During a confrontation with the owners, he made a threat, then left the premises and headed for a nearby walking trail. A female co-accused, Ashley Giberson, was with him when the incident occurred.

Cote had a prior criminal record. He appeared in court in custody on Aug. 30 and waived his bail. Woodstock Police charged him with assault involving a female victim, assault with a weapon, and breach of probation for another incident in Woodstock. He pleaded not guilty, and those matters were set over for trial on Dec. 22 at 9:30 a.m. Cote remains in custody at this time.

Sentencing set on three charges

Brandon Cecil Armour, 34, of no fixed address, appeared in provincial court on Nov. 16 and changed his plea to guilty on three charges laid by RCMP. His sentencing date was set for Feb. 8, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.

Armour was charged with breaking into a dwelling house, committing mischief causing property damage to a door, and assaulting a female victim, stemming from an incident on June 8, 2022, in Beechwood. 

Armour also returns to court on Dec. 13 at 1:30 p.m. for plea on other separate charges. Woodstock Police charged him with breach of an undertaking and failing to attend court on July 11, as well as theft of a vehicle and resisting arrest on Aug. 14. Woodstock Police also charged him with prowling at night and resisting arrest in connection with an incident on March 24 in Woodstock.

Armour appeared in court in custody on Aug. 15 after being arrested on a warrant. He appeared on Sept. 28 for a bail hearing and was released with conditions.

Another charge for Windsor man

Jacob Alexander Roy, 26, of Windsor, will appear for trial in provincial court on Aug. 19, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. after pleading not guilty to three charges. 

Roy appeared in provincial court in custody on Sept. 12 and was released with conditions. He told the court he was taken back into custody and just released from jail. On Nov. 16, he was charged with breach of a no-contact order for an incident on Oct. 20 in Woodstock.

RCMP also charged Roy with assault involving a female victim and unlawful confinement concerning an incident on Sept. 11 in Woodstock. A monitoring date for his trial was set for Feb. 20 at 1:30 p.m.

Trial set for Neqotkuk man

Gavin Schloemer, 33, of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), appeared in provincial court on Nov. 16 and pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to appear. His trial date was set for June 17, 2024, at 1:30 p.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 on Dec. 20, 2022, in Woodstock.

RCMP also charged Schloemer with resisting arrest on June 21 at Neqotkuk, two counts of assaulting police on June 21 at Williamstown and breaking into a dwelling house on Oct. 3, 2021, at Neqotkuk. 

He agreed to sign a 12-month peace bond for entering the dwelling house. The remaining matters are still scheduled for trial on June 17, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.

In custody awaiting trial

Ryan James Smith, 35, of Woodstock, formerly of Perth, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Nov. 16 to answer multiple charges. He pleaded not guilty on all counts, and the trial date was set for March 7, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.

Smith appeared in court in custody for his bail hearing on Nov. 1 and was remanded. 

He has been in custody since late September. 

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, carelessly transporting a firearm, and possession of a firearm without a licence, stemming from an incident on Sept. 30 in Hartland. 

He was also charged with possessing a stolen vehicle, committing mischief causing property damage to a car window, and driving while suspended for another incident in Meductic on Sept. 30. 

Woodstock Police also charged him with trespassing on private property on Aug. 3 and Aug. 29 on Broadway Street in Woodstock. A monitoring date for his trial was set for Jan. 29, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.

Trial set on drug trafficking charges



Carolann Paul, 26, of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), appeared in provincial court on Nov. 16 and pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking charges. Her trial was set for Oct. 3-4, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.

Paul appeared in provincial court on Sept. 15 for a bail hearing and was released with conditions, including wearing an electronic monitoring device attached to her ankle. A monitoring date for her trial was set for April 8, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.

She was arrested on a warrant for failing to attend her trial. She was charged by RCMP with possession of cocaine and possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, stemming from a police bust on Sept. 23, 2020, at Neqotkuk. 

She was also charged with possession of methamphetamine for another incident on July 31, 2020, at Neqotkuk. She pleaded not guilty, and her trial date for that charge was set for Oct. 9, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.

Agreed to peace bond

Donald Paul, 59, of Woodstock First Nation, appeared for trial in provincial court on Nov. 15 after pleading not guilty to an assault charge. He agreed to sign a six-month peace bond, and the trial did not proceed.

Paul was charged by RCMP with assault involving a female victim in connection with an incident on June 29 at Woodstock First Nation. 

Trial set for Hartland man

Vincent Ginson, 30, of Hartland, will appear for trial in provincial court on April 25, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. after pleading not guilty to one charge laid by RCMP.

Ginson was charged with assault concerning an incident on May 3 in Centreville. On Nov. 7, Defence Counsel James Crocco confirmed that Ginson would be ready for his trial in the spring.

Arrested and held for bail hearing

Catherine Polchies, 45, of Woodstock First Nation, appeared in provincial court in custody on Nov. 15 for a bail hearing. She was released with conditions and returns to court for plea on Dec. 5 at 9:30 a.m.

Polchies was charged under the Fish and Wildlife Act with discharging a firearm too close to a dwelling house and not wearing hunter orange following an incident on Sept. 27, 2022, at Lower Woodstock. She failed to return to court for plea, and a warrant for her arrest was issued.

In custody awaiting plea

Brittany Francis, 34, of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Nov. 15 to answer charges laid by RCMP. The matter was adjourned for plea until Dec. 5 at 11 a.m.

Francis appeared in court in custody on Nov. 8 and was denied bail. RCMP charged her with breach of a release order and mischief causing damage to an ankle bracelet in connection with an incident on Sept. 20 at Neqotkuk. Multiple warrants were issued for her arrest.

Francis appeared in provincial court in custody for a bail hearing on July 14 and was released with conditions. She was charged with breach of a release order and pleaded guilty. She failed to return to court for sentencing on Sept. 16.

She also appeared in custody on June 19 after being arrested on a warrant. 

RCMP charged Francis with shoplifting at the Maliseet Gas Bar in Neqotkuk on June 30, 2022, and two counts of failing to appear in court on Oct. 11, 2022, and again on April 25. She pleaded guilty to the theft and one count of failing to attend court.

Charge withdrawn by the crown

Olivia Annette Young, 30, of Keswick Ridge, formerly of Woodstock First Nation, appeared for trial in provincial court on Nov. 16 after pleading not guilty to a stolen property charge.

RCMP charged Young with possession of stolen property (a Ford half-ton) stemming from an incident at Jacksonville on Dec. 12, 2021. The crown withdrew the charge on Nov. 16, and her trial did not proceed.

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