Westside gang member gets 18 months in jail for taking police on 150-km, two-hour chase

·2 min read

A Westside gang member was sentenced to 18 months in jail for her part in taking RCMP on a 150-kilometre, two-hour pursuit.

Juanita Wahpistikwan, 21, was sentenced in Lloydminster Provincial Court Feb. 18 on charges of vehicle theft and possession of a prohibited weapon and ammunition.

Wahpistikwan and four others were arrested in November 2020 after six RCMP detachments teamed up to catch them.

It started at about 3 p.m. on Nov. 20 when Maidstone RCMP got a call that a grey Honda was stolen from a business in Lashburn by three men wearing red - known colours worn by the street gang Westside Outlaws.

The men in the Honda were seen fleeing east on Highway 16, followed closely by a small red Ford car.

The Lashburn Fire Department informed Maidstone RCMP that a small red car was on fire east of Lashburn so police efforts were now focused on the grey Honda.

The RCMP RTU spotted the stolen Honda. They followed the vehicle and attempted to stop it but the driver continued east, turned around and then headed west on Highway 16 at a high rate of speed. The Honda continued west on Highway 16 just west of the Marshall Weigh Station. It then headed east on Kempton Road towards Highway 303.

Eight police vehicles from Maidstone, Lloydminster, the RTU and the PRT fanned out to search an extended rural area around Lashburn.

Maidstone RCMP found the Honda traveling west on Highway 3 near Paradise Hill, about 60 kilometres north of Lashburn. The Honda was heading towards Frenchman Butte so Maidstone RCMP called in Onion Lake and Turtleford RCMP detachments to watch for the vehicle. Turtleford RCMP deployed a tire deflation device and the Honda was forced to stop.

Maidstone and Turtleford RCMP officers arrested Wahpistikwan, along with Tonia Cantel, 22, of North Battleford, Kyle Lajimodiere from Cold Lake, Alta., and two young offenders who can’t be named in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

When police searched the vehicle they found a sawed-off modified rifle, ammunition, a machete, a BB pistol and several knives. Police say they also located gang paraphernalia.

Lajimodiere’s trial is set for June 29 and 30, 2021, in Lloydminster Provincial Court.

Cantel appears next in Lloydminster Provincial Court on Feb. 23.

The charges against the accused haven’t been proven in court.

If you are associated with a gang and want to leave it, contact STR8 UP in northern Saskatchewan at 306-763-3001, STR8 UP in central Saskatchewan at 306-244-1771, or Regina Treaty Status Indian Services in southern Saskatchewan at 306-522-7494 to get assistance.

ljoy@glaciermedia.ca

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