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Side GavelA 29-year-old Jasper man who arrested for allegedly robbing the TD Bank branch in Jasper will be held at the Edmonton Remand Centre until April 27 for a bail hearing.

Mauro Parker said nothing as he appeared in the prisoner box in Jasper Provincial Court on April 13.

According to Judge J. Higgerty, robbery charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Parker was arrested by police on April 11 after allegedly robbing the TD bank on Patricia Street before high jacking a Shaw Cable van.

According to police, around 9:45 a.m. Jasper RCMP received a high priority call for a robbery in progress at the bank. Upon arrival, officers were told that the suspect had fled on foot with a quantity of cash.

Police said the man allegedly handed a note to a bank teller stating that it was a robbery and to hand over all of the cash in the till. No employees were harmed during the robbery.

Shortly after, RCMP officers received a call for a theft of a vehicle on Elm Avenue. A Shaw Cable employee was working behind the library when a man ran up to his van and jumped in it. The Shaw employee tried to intervene but the suspect drove away at a high rate of speed, damaging an electrical box located behind the library at the same time. With the description provided by the Shaw employee, police were able to connect the recent robbery and the theft of the van to the same suspect.

Jasper RCMP officers immediately forwarded the description of the male and the van to Hinton RCMP. An hour later, police in Hinton located the van and conducted a high-risk traffic stop. The male driver was arrested and taken into custody without incident.

Parker was charged with robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, mischief under $5,000, dangerous driving and breach of an undertaking.

None of the charges or allegations have been proven in court.
Local man given six-month conditional sentence for drug trafficking
A 27-year-old local man will spend the next three months under house arrest followed by a three-month curfew after pleading guilty to trafficking marijuana in Jasper Provincial Court, April 13.

According to a joint submission, on August 10, 2016 Jasper RCMP conducted a routine traffic stop for a burnt out tail light. While interacting with the driver the officer noticed a syringe in the vehicle, which appeared to contain cannabis resin.

Police subsequently arrested the driver and following a search of the vehicle found a quarter pound of marijuana and a quarter pound of magic mushrooms. Police also found ziplock bags and an electronic scale.

At the time of his arrest police estimated the street value of the drugs to be approximately $2,300.

According to the joint submission, the man was very cooperative with police and admitted in a sworn statement to officers that he had bought the drugs for the purpose of trafficking. A subsequent search of his cell phone found text messages consistent with his claims.

According to his defense lawyer, his client was selling drugs to try and pay back money he owed the government.

The lawyer described his client’s actions as a “misadventure” and “ill thought-out” and asked Judge J. Higgerty for clemency because his client was up-front with police from the very beginning and opted not to go to trial.

Matthew Van Alstyne pled guilty to one count of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. His other two charges were withdrawn.

Judge J. Higgerty sentenced him to a six-month conditional sentence, including three months of house arrest followed by a three-month curfew between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except when specified. Van Alstyne must also complete 50 hours of community service.

“Make no mistake it is a jail sentence and it has to be taken very, very strictly,” warned Higgerty.

Paul Clarke

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