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La Loche RCMP charge 3 with bootlegging

Three people are facing bootlegging charges after allegedly bringing alcohol into La Loche, Sask., where alcohol sales are currently banned.
Three people are facing bootlegging charges after allegedly bringing alcohol into La Loche, Sask., where alcohol sales are currently banned. Saskatchewan RCMP / Supplied

RCMP say three people are facing bootlegging charges after reportedly trying to bring alcohol into La Loche, Sask.

Alcohol sales in the northern Saskatchewan community were stopped for two weeks on May 9 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The region is the epicentre of the outbreak in the province, and health officials said too many people were spreading the virus by drinking together.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan stops alcohol sales in La Loche to prevent spread of coronavirus

Police said they received word that people from the community were heading south to buy alcohol to bring back to the community for resale.

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RCMP said several sources in the community informed them that a 24-pack of beer was being resold for more than $200.

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On May 20, police said they set up a check stop on Highway 155, just south of La Loche.

READ MORE: RCMP lays bootlegging charges near Deschambault Lake, Saskatchewan

Police said liquor, coolers and beer were seized from five vehicles over three hours, including:

  • 534 cans of beer
  • 24 bottles of beer
  • 248 cans of various coolers
  • A 1.4-litre box of Royal Red
  • Three 1.75-litre bottles of hard alcohol
  • Six 750-millilitre bottles of hard alcohol

The three people, whose names have not been released by police, are charged under Saskatchewan’s Alcohol and Gaming Regulations Act.

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It prohibits, directly or indirectly, selling or offering to sell alcohol unless allowed under the act or regulations.

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Fines start at $500 for a first offence. A conviction could also result in up to two months in jail.

— With files from Global News’s Mickey Djuric