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Vehicle carrying drugs, replica handgun left Hwy. 17 crash scene near Sturgeon Falls

Police discovered suspects switched drivers prior to officers locating the vehicle 
20190310 opp cruiser OPP
(File)

Two people have been charged after an incident in which they left the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Highway 17 near Sturgeon Falls, and when police caught up with them, drugs and a replica handgun were found in their vehicle.

The Nipissing West OPP responded to the crash at 2:35 p.m. Sept. 19. 

Their investigation revealed a westbound car swerved across the eastbound lane, struck the guardrail and ditch (causing significant damage to both), then continued westbound on Highway 17.

Officers stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver shortly afterward. 

Police seized a quantity of drugs suspected to be fentanyl and cocaine, along with a replica handgun and more than $750 in Canadian currency. The street value of the drugs seized is approximately $13,250.

Officers concluded the individual was under the influence of a drug, and as a result of further testing by a Drug Recognition Expert, the driver was charged with:

  • Operation While Impaired - Alcohol and Drugs, contrary to section 320.14(1)(a) of the Criminal Code (CC);
  • Possession of Imitation Weapon for Dangerous Purpose, contrary to section 88 of the CC;
  • Possession of a Schedule 1 Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking - Opioid (other than heroin), contrary to section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA);
  • Possession of a Schedule 1 Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking - Cocaine, contrary to section 5(2) of the CDSA;
  • Possession Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000 - in Canada, contrary to section 354(1)(a) of the CC; and
  • Drive Motor Vehicle - No Licence, contrary to section 32(1) of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA).

The driver was issued a 90-day Administrative Driver's Licence Suspension (ADLS) and the vehicle was impounded for seven days.   

The accused remains in custody, and appeared in bail court in North Bay Sept. 24.

The OPP said further investigation revealed that some time after the collision, and prior to police locating the vehicle, the occupants of the vehicle had switched drivers. 

As a result, on Sept. 22, officers charged the original driver, a 40-year-old from Sturgeon Falls, with:

  • Drive Motor Vehicle - No Licence, contrary to section 32(1) of the HTA; and
  • Careless Driving, contrary to section 130(1) of the HTA.

None of the occupants were injured in the collision.  

This marks the 46th driver charged under the criminal impaired driving laws in the Nipissing West Detachment area in 2020.