Vote with confidence. Get informed with our in depth election coverage.
Diversity in political representation
The Rise of the Independents in Cape Breton
The election’s on: Now Canadians should watch out for dumbfakes and ...
Political seeds planted by local activism
How could young voters affect this election?
Lawyers for Tyler Downey, Jake Long waiting on police evidence package before entering pleas
Two St. John’s men charged as a result of a major RNC bust that turned up $750,000 worth of guns, drugs, money and other items had their cases called in provincial court in St. John’s Wednesday.
Tyler Downey appeared in Courtroom No. 5, represented by lawyer Erin Breen.
Jake Long was not in the courtroom and was, instead, represented in court by Jane Crosbie, who was filling in for Long’s lawyer, Stephen Orr.
Lawyers indicated they hadn’t yet received information from the police investigation before proceeding with an election and plea.
They, along with federal Crown prosecutor Neil Smith and provincial Crown prosecutor Shawn Patten, agreed to set the case over until Dec. 6.
Long faces about two dozen charges, including trafficking, theft and numerous counts of breaching court orders, while Downey faces six weapon-related charges.
Downey and Long are not in custody, having been granted bail at their first court appearance in late September.
The two were arrested a few weeks ago following an investigation dubbed Operation Ragged.
A loaded .44-calibre magnum handgun, a .22-calibre rifle, a .38-calibre prohibited handgun, two sawed-off shotguns and two other rifles, one sawed off, were among the items seized. One of the firearms — a .44-calibre magnum handgun — was reported stolen in New Brunswick in 1997.
Officers also seized bulletproof vests, masks, brass knuckles, a Taser and a machete, along with two kilograms of cocaine, more than 1,000 non-pharmaceutical pills, three high-end vehicles, including a 2018 Infinity Q60 Twin Turbo, about $200,000 in cash, a money counter, an aluminum bat and a GPS vehicle.
Operation Ragged began in March 2019 as a result of incidents of shots being fired at residences in the Northeast Avalon region, although O’Reilly wouldn’t say exactly where. He said there were also a number of incidents involving firebombs, such as Molotov cocktails, from earlier this year and in 2018.
Downey has no criminal record. He had been charged with 10 counts of assault with a weapon in 2017, but all charges were withdrawn by the Crown.
Long has significant crimes on his record, including a charge of aggravated assault for stabbing a man on George Street in 2014. He was given a three-year jail term in that case. In 2018, he was sentenced to close to a year in prison for robbery with violence.
Charges are pending against four other people, who have not yet been named. According to the RNC, up to 90 firearm and drug-related charges are expected to be laid.