Onion Lake woman arrested by RCMP gang unit sentenced to 15 months in prison

·2 min read

An Onion Lake Cree Nation woman arrested by the North Battleford RCMP gang unit was sent to Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Prince Albert for 15 months.

Wanita Harper, 31, was sentenced in Lloydminster Provincial Court on Dec. 2. She was handed 465 days total on charges of flight from police, operating a vehicle while prohibited, failing to comply with a demand of a police officer, and entering a dwelling house with intent to commit an indictable offence. A stay of proceedings was issued on charges of dangerous driving and resisting a peace officer.

Wanita Harper, along with Cheyenne Harper and Lyndon Belly, were arrested after fleeing from the RCMP Crime Reduction Unit on Aug. 15. The RCMP CRT was in Onion Lake Cree Nation Aug. 12 to 16 to help the Onion Lake RCMP combat street gang activity.

On Aug. 15 the RCMP gang unit tried stopping a vehicle for a traffic violation, which was being driven by Wanita Harper. She refused to stop and sped away.

Police initiated a pursuit and twice they put spike belts on Hwy 17 to stop the truck but Harper avoided the spike belts by driving off of the highway. Police followed the truck and saw three people run into a nearby house.

In November, Belly was sentenced to 15 months for break and enter, possession of property obtained by crime, possession of cocaine and resisting arrest.

Also in November, Cheyenne Harper was given a three-month conditional sentence to be served in the community on charges of break and enter and mischief.

Earlier this year Onion Lake Cree Nation declared a state of emergency citing a string of gang and drug-related activity that threatened the safety of its residents as reasons.

Onion Lake Cree Nation borders both the Alberta and Saskatchewan border.

Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist