Illegal gaming charges against former Sheshatshiu chief dismissed

A former chief of the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation no longer faces charges of operating an illegal gaming house. 

A judge dismissed the charges against Andrew Penashue on Nov. 19 after the Crown said it would not call any evidence against him in Happy Valley-Goose Bay provincial court.

"I am happy to say I won my case now I can move on with my life with my family and friends," Penashue wrote on his Facebook page the day of the decision.

Penashue, who had pleaded not guilty, was facing one charge under the Canadian Criminal Code as well as four other charges under the Lotteries Act for operating video lottery terminals without approval from the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.

Penashue was also alleged to have been in possession of a .22-calibre air rifle without a licence.

The charges were laid following an RCMP raid on a property in Sheshatshiu in September 2018. At the time, police said 11 VLTs, a bingo device and an ATM were seized.

Penashue has served as Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation chief in the past. He ran again in the most recent election but was defeated by incumbent chief Eugene Hart.

Penashue was not immediately available to comment. 

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