On July 29, the Ponoka RCMP responded to a complaint at a rural residence that an unknown male was non-responsive in a suspicious vehicle on the complainant’s property.  RCMP attended, effected an arrest, recovered stolen property and laid charges.

At 5:24 p.m., the RCMP were dispatched.  A homeowner had a concern about a vehicle on his property and called 911 for assistance.  When RCMP arrived, the vehicle was idling and the driver was arrested. A search of the male and the vehicle, subsequent to arrest, revealed a small quantity of drugs, including what is believed to be fentanyl and two containers of pepper spray.  The pepper spray was found to be within easy access of the suspect driver of the vehicle.

Further investigation revealed that the license plate and the vehicle were both reported stolen.  Another stolen license plate was also located.  The vehicle, a Mercedes Benz SUV had been reported stolen in Edmonton and was seized by the Ponoka RCMP.

Queries of the vehicle determined that the vehicle was involved in an incident in Cochrane the day prior, on July 28.

43-year-old Michael John Castle is facing eight Criminal Code charges as follows:

-          Possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000

-          Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 (x3)

-          Unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon (x2)

-          Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose (x2)

He is also charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.  All above charges relate to the incident in Ponoka.

In relation to the earlier incident in Cochrane, Castle is charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and operation of a motor vehicle while being pursued by police.

Bail was not spoken to during a judicial interim release hearing.  Castle remains in custody for a hearing in Provincial Court of Alberta in Wetaskiwin on August 2 at 9:30.

“We are glad the homeowner called us for assistance and even more pleased with being able to solve this investigation and recover a stolen vehicle” says Sergeant Chris Smiley of the Ponoka RCMP Detachment.  “This is an example of offenders crossing jurisdictions and our ongoing commitment to sharing intelligence and disrupting criminal behaviour”.

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