11 charged for violating Sask. public health order prohibiting gatherings, among other offences

Eleven people were arrested for, among other things, violating the chief medical health officer's order banning gatherings of over 10 people. It's the first time RCMP have charged someone for violating those orders.

Guns, drugs, stolen property all seized by police during and after chase on multiple highways

RCMP arrested 11 people on Friday morning, for violating the public health order prohibiting gatherings of over 10 people and an array of dangerous driving, firearms and weapons related charges. (David Bell/CBC)

Eleven people have been arrested, for among other things, violating the provincial chief medical health officer's order to stop gathering in groups of more than 10 people. 

RCMP said this is the first time people have been arrested and charged with violating the public health order related to COVID-19.

Around 1:30 a.m. CST Friday, police were called to a home in Loon Lake for reports of a suspicious person knocking on the door of a home there. 

At the home, police were given the description of a vehicle — a black GMC Yukon — believed to be associated to the suspicious person.

The vehicle was later located going north on highway 699. Officers from the Loon Lake, Pierceland and Meadow Lake RCMP followed the vehicle. 

Officers unsuccessfully tried to stop the vehicle. A number of items, including a bag of guns was thrown out of the vehicle as it fled police. The chase then continued along Highway 55. 

"At different times, several occupants of the vehicle jumped out of the running vehicle," an RCMP news release said. "They were all intercepted one by one and taken into custody."

Officers continued to follow the vehicle south on a grid road, before it went into a ditch; two people were arrested at the vehicle and a third fled into the bush, but a police dog was able to track that last person down.

The police news release said officers found guns, drugs and stolen property.

Ten of those involved in this incident were adults and are charged with flight from and assaulting a police officer, weapons and firearms charges, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of property obtained by crime and failure to comply with the public health order, among other charges.

The youth faces similar charges, but is not charged with assaulting an officer. 

Everyone involved is from Onion Lake, Makwa Sahgaiehcan, Loon Lake, Lloydminister, Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation and Big Island Lake Cree Territory. 

Seven of the accused have been remanded into custody, to appear in court on Monday. 

The remaining four were released and will appear in court in July. Those who were released were ordered to stay inside an approved home for 24 hours a day for 14 days, and immediately notify the Saskatchewan Health Line if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

"Individuals choosing to continue gathering in contravention of the Saskatchewan Public Health Act place the Saskatchewan population, including Saskatchewan RCMP police officers, at risk of exposure to COVID-19," the RCMP release said.