Nova Scotia

RCMP charge 23 after lobster pound ransacked last fall in southwest N.S.

The RCMP have charged 23 people over an incident that occurred at a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico on Oct. 13, 2020. Fifteen people have been charged with break and enter, and eight have been charged with mischief and break and enter.

The incident happened during weeks of unrest over the moderate livelihood fishery

The charges are related to an incident that happened 4 days before the Middle West Pubnico, N.S., lobster pound burned to the ground. (Taryn Grant/CBC)

Charges have been laid against 23 people in connection with an incident last year at a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico, N.S.

On Oct. 13, 2020, a mob descended on the Yarmouth County lobster pound, forcing Mi'kmaw fisherman Jason Marr to barricade himself inside.

His vehicle was vandalized and hundreds of lobsters from the pound were scattered on the pavement outside.

Four days later, on Oct. 17, the pound was destroyed in a fire the RCMP described as suspicious. The blaze remains under investigation.

The incidents occurred during weeks of unrest in the province's southwest, sparked by the launch of a moderate livelihood lobster fishery by the Sipekne'katik band outside the federally mandated commercial season.

Sipekne'katik Chief Mike Sack said he's pleased people were being held accountable, but questioned why more people weren't charged.

"There were hundreds of people at those incidents and only [23] are being charged at a time, so I think there's still another 150 people that should be held accountable for their actions as well," he said.

He described the types of charges as "minimal" and a "slap on the wrist."

Investigation continues

There have been calls for the RCMP to investigate the Oct. 13 incident as a hate crime.

Sgt. Andrew Joyce, a spokesperson for the force, told CBC News "that avenue would be explored," but he had not been informed of any evidence or charges to that effect.

Joyce also said additional charges could be laid if more information comes to light that identifies other individuals.

The 23 people charged are from Yarmouth and Shelburne counties. Court appearances have been scheduled for March 29 in Yarmouth provincial court.

The people charged with break and enter have been identified as:

  • Devin Edward Belong, 26, Shelburne County.
  • Leslie Edward Belong, 29, Shelburne County.
  • Roderick Bruce Conrad,53, Shelburne County.
  • James Alfred D'Entremont, 55, Yarmouth County.
  • Marcel Renald D'Entremont, 29, Yarmouth County.     
  • Kevin Paul D'eon, 41, Yarmouth County.
  • Kevin Mark Donaldson, 51, Yarmouth County.
  • Christopher Howard Goreham, 40, Shelburne County.
  • Curtis Leigh Conrad Goreham, 36, Shelburne County.
  • Josh Andrew Larkin, 27, Yarmouth County.
  • Shawn Joseph Muise, 46, Yarmouth County.
  • Travis Nickerson, 27, Yarmouth County.
  • Sterling Scott Penney, 49, Shelburne County.
  • Troy Warren Irvin Penney, 43, Yarmouth County.
  • Jered Owen Scott, 22, Shelburne County.

The people charged with mischief and break and enter have been identified as:

  • Tyler Leslie Belong, 28, Shelburne County.
  • Samuel Spencer Corning, 27, Yarmouth County.
  • Blair Daniel Dentremont, 46, Yarmouth County.
  • Charles Richard Hines, 50, Shelburne County.
  • Sean Roy Messenger, 28, Yarmouth County.
  • Michael Pearle Nickerson, 66, Yarmouth County.
  • Gordon Malcolm Stoddard, 57, Shelburne County.
  • Merle Kevin Swaine, 65, Shelburne County.