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Local briefs – November 22
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Published: November 22, 2010 12:12 PM
RCMP officer faces hearing
A five-day preliminary hearing for an RCMP officer who is alleged to have threatened tenants of residential properties that were acquired through fraud started on Friday.
Const. Hoa Dong La, 45, faces 17 charges, including criminal harassment, extortion and fraud.
The Red Deer provincial court hearing runs through Friday of next week.
Calgary lawyer Ian McKay is representing La, who was to have the hearing in September only to have it delayed when he parted company with his first lawyer.
The hearing will determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant the accused stand trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench. A ban on publication of any evidence at the hearing was imposed.
La, was based at Innisfail RCMP detachment, then posted in Calgary at the Immigrant and Passport Section.
He is suspended with pay.
A public complaint in 2006 triggered an investigation into his activities.
Police alleged earlier that residential properties and mortgages were acquired through “false representations” to banks. RCMP also allege that tenants at some properties were harassed.
The offences allegedly occurred in Innisfail, Camrose and Airdrie.
La is charged with 10 counts of fraud of more than $10,000 each, four counts of criminal harassment, two counts of extortion, and perjury.
RCMP have completed their investigation under their Code of Conduct rules and regulations.
Mischief results in jail term
A man who smashed a vending machine with a metal pry bar was sentenced to three months in jail on Friday.
James Robert McIntosh, 29, pleaded guilty to mischief to property, resisting police, possession of a weapon and breaching probation, in Red Deer provincial court. Other charges were withdrawn by the Crown.
The court was told McIntosh smashed a vending machine at Hazzard County Bar in Sylvan Lake on Nov. 15 after 1 a.m. He put down the metal bar, which was about half a metre long, only after a police officer drew his gun.
“You were dangerous. You were violent. At the same time, you were on probation for assault,” Judge David Plosz told McIntosh during sentencing.
“You were really out of your head.”
Plosz said McIntosh’s actions called for custody and a five-year firearms prohibition.
Defence lawyer Kevin Schollie said before the incident his client mixed anti-depressant medication and alcohol.
“He remembers taking two drinks and then the night was a blur,” Schollie said.
Man arrested, jailed
A Red Deer man was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to being unlawfully at large.
Timothy Armstrong, 35, was located and arrested without incident on Wednesday night in Normandeau.
Armstrong was held into custody and sentenced in Red Deer provincial court on Friday.
The court heard that Armstrong violated the terms of his parole on Sept. 29.
Armstrong returns to court on Dec. 3 for a charge of assault.