Rexton shale gas protest

RCMP vehicles were burned during last fall's shale gas protest in Rexton, N.B. (Gilles Boudreau)

A man from Elispogtog First Nation has pleaded guilty to five charges related to anti-shale gas protests last year, including one that ended in a violent clash with RCMP.

Jason Augustine, 34, appeared in Moncton provincial court on Monday and was sentenced to 18 months of probation.

He was also ordered to stay at least one kilometre away from any shale gas exploration activities or protests.

Augustine pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer, two counts of obstructing a police officer, and one count of mischief in connection with a protest near Rexton on Oct. 17.

RCMP had moved in to enforce a court objection obtained by SWN Resources Canada, which ordered that the company be allowed to carry out exploration work without harassment.

"Police moved in to control a dangerous situation involving firearms, improvised explosive devices and other weapons," Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said in a news release.

RCMP say Molotov cocktails — homemade explosive devices usually made using a glass bottle filled with a flammable liquid and a piece of cloth stuffed inside that is set on fire — were thrown at officers and six RCMP vehicles were burned along Route 134.

About 40 people were arrested that day.

Augustine also pleaded guilty to mischief for blocking equipment at a protest near Harcourt on July 27.