June 18th, 2024

Explosives and trafficking nets three year sentence


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 18, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man caught in 2020 with drugs, cash and explosives, has been sent to a federal penitentiary.
Shaun Ryan Hlavach was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court to single charges of possession of an explosive substance and possession of a prohibited weapon, and two charges of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Police, after receiving numerous complaints in August of 2020 about disturbances and drug trafficking at a residence in the 800 block of 16 Street South, began watching the residence over several days, and noticed Hlavach’s girlfriend at the time selling drugs to known drug users. Police never saw Hlavach selling drugs, but sources reported he was selling “down” and “blow” from his residence. He was also wanted on warrants in Alberta and B.C.
Police followed Hlavach to Coaldale on Aug. 24, and caught him with two grams of methamphetamine, 0.9 grams of fentanyl, a drug scale and $550 in cash. Police subsequently searched his residence and found 14 grams of fentanyl and 48 grams of meth in a bedroom safe, and another 14 grams of fentanyl in the garage. Police also found several explosives, two of which were too unstable to move and had to be detonated inside the home.
“That required the police to evacuate two residences on each side of Mr. Hlavach’s residence,” Crown Prosecutor Mark Klassen told court.
During his interview with police, Hlavach confessed and said the drugs were his, and admitted he was an addict. He also said he considered the explosive devices to be more like fireworks.
Klassen noted that at the time of the offences, Hlavach, who has previous criminal convictions, including a conviction for having an explosive device, was subject to a weapons prohibition. That prohibition included explosive devices.
Although sentenced to three years in prison, Hlavach was given credit for a year he spent in remand custody, leaving two years plus a day to serve. His lawyer, Vincent Guinan, also asked the judge to temporarily release Hlavach from remand so he could find a location to store equipment from his tree-cutting business before he is sent to prison.
Judge Grace Auger denied the request, but agreed to recommend Hlavach be sent to the Grande Cache Institution, a medium-security prison, which, Guinan pointed out, provides programs that will help his client.
Hlavach is also prohibited for life from possessing weapons and explosives, and he must provide a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank.
Numerous additional charges, including breaches of release conditions, possession of identity documents, drug possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a prohibited firearm, unauthorized possession of a prohibited/restricted weapon, and possession of an explosive substance, were withdrawn by the Crown.

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