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Court Briefs

Two people in an alleged arson incident made this first appearance in court last week.
stock-Courthouse DR13
St. Albert Provincial Court

Arson appearance

A duo facing charges after an alleged arson incident in Forest Lawn made their first appeared in a Morinville courtroom last week.

On June 25 at around 11:30 p.m., the St. Albert RCMP was called to a structure fire at 20 Forest Drive.

No one was in the residence at the time of the fire and there were no reported injuries. St. Albert Fire Services couldn't comment but posted to Facebook that crews from the city's three fire stations responded.

"Quick response kept damage from being much worse," the department stated. St. Albert RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS) along with St. Albert General Duty and RCMP Forensic Identification Section (FIS) are assisting the St. Albert Fire Marshall with the investigation.

Duane Irwin, 38, of no fixed address, was charged with arson, theft under $5,000 and failing to comply with a recognizance.

Chloe Martin, 21, of no fixed address, was charged with arson, two counts of failing to comply with recognizance and failing to comply with probation.

The duo has been remanded into custody and are scheduled to appear in the St. Albert Provincial Court again on July 22, for an election and plea.

Identity theft

A man facing a slew of identity theft charges will be back in court later this month.

Ahmed Salha is facing 20 charges related to identify theft, thanks to a lengthy investigation by the RCMP that identified more than 100 victims, and will return to court to enter an election and plea on July 29.

Salha, 33, has been charged with one count of obtaining or possessing identity information; six counts of making false documents; six counts of possessing forged government ID; six counts of illegally procuring identity documents; and one count of possessing instruments intended to be used for forgery.

On May 2, the St. Albert RCMP said officers began a lengthy investigation in March that led to a search warrant being executed at a local residence. Through that warrant, police identified more than 100 victims of identity theft and fraud from all over central Alberta.

The RCMP believes some of the identities were stolen by suspects going through unlocked vehicles and stealing documents.

The St. Albert RCMP has recently launched the 9 p.m. routine, which is a crime prevention movement encouraging residents to take valuables out of their vehicles, including documents that can lead to identities being stolen, and to lock their doors at 9 p.m. each night.

The RCMP are reminding the public to report any fraudulent activity to their local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). The RCMP manages the CAFC with the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Provincial Police.

Trafficking charges

A woman facing charges of drug trafficking is slated to come back to court later this month.

Jaydh Singh has put her matters over again to July 22 for an election and plea.

The St. Albert RCMP executed the search warrant in North Ridge and found more than two ounces of methamphetamine, $1,590 in Canadian cash and a small amount of GHB.

Singh, 20, of St. Albert, has been charged with two counts of trafficking a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a controlled substance, three counts of possession of the proceeds of a crime under $5,000 and obstructing a police officer.

This is not Singh's first time facing trafficking charges. In 2018, she and two other people were charged with trafficking heroin and opoids.

In relation to those charges, Singh is facing four counts of trafficking a controlled substance and two counts of possessing proceeds of a crime under $5,000. Singh was charged along with Matthew Cormier, 33, and Wanda Thompson, 36, who each faced two counts of trafficking a controlled substance, four counts of possessing a controlled substance, two counts of possessing proceeds of a crime under $5,000, possessing a weapon dangerous to the public peace and unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon.

The weapons charges relate to an electronic stun device.

Singh will be in court on Sept. 26 and 27 for her earlier trafficking charges for a preliminary inquiry.

Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Jennifer Henderson is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Great West Newspapers based in St. Albert, Alta.
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