Court briefs – November 26

Public input on crime prevention and community policing are topics the City of Red Deer wants to hear about from the public.

Public input sought on policing, crime prevention

Public input on crime prevention and community policing are topics the City of Red Deer wants to hear about from the public.

Colleen Jensen, director of Community Services, said Thursday people will have many opportunities to get involved in providing input.

“Everybody wants a safe community and we want to hear the ideas that residents have about crime prevention and policing in Red Deer,” Jensen said.

She said public input is important.

The city has contracted perivale + taylor Consulting Inc., to conduct a review of crime prevention strategies and policing services in the city.

The first phase of the study focuses on collection and analysis of data related to crime and policing. The second phase will focus on solutions for the community with public input. For more information and to fill out an online survey check

Print copies of the survey are available at City Hall, Red Deer Public Library downtown, G. H. Dawe Centre, Collicutt Centre, downtown Recreation Centre and the Golden Circle.

Mountie’s hearing expected to conclude

The preliminary hearing for an RCMP officer facing 17 charges is expected to conclude today in Red Deer provincial court.

Const. Hoa Dong La, 45, is alleged to have threatened tenants of residential properties acquired through fraud.

La faces 10 charges of fraud valued at more than $5,000 each, four counts of unlawful harassment, two counts of extortion and one charge of making a false statement.

The hearing was set for six days.

Crown prosecutor Susan Boyd has called more than a dozen witnesses.

Calgary lawyer Ian McKay is representing La.

The hearing will determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant the accused stand trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

A ban on publication of any evidence heard during the hearing was imposed.

La, who was previously based at Innisfail RCMP detachment, was posted in Calgary at the Immigrant and Passport Section.

He is currently suspended with pay.

A public complaint in 2006 triggered an investigation into his activities.

Police alleged earlier that residential properties and mortgages were acquired through “false representations” to banks. RCMP also allege that tenants at some properties were harassed.

The offences allegedly occurred in Innisfail, Camrose and Airdrie.

RCMP have completed their own investigation under their Code of Conduct rules and regulations.

Drug dealer sent to prison

A Red Deer man who dealt drugs off his apartment balcony while living with his young son was sent to a federal prison Thursday.

Juan Carlos Fumero, 48, was sentenced in Red Deer provincial court to a three-year term when he pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of three different types of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

Court heard Fumero, who is Cuban and does not have Canadian citizenship, had served long stretches of jail time in the United States for two robberies.

Federal Crown prosecutor Dave Inglis told Judge John Holmes that Fumero was jailed in the U.S. to 20 years in 1983 for a robbery and another 19 years for a bank robbery in 1991.

Inglis said Fumero has been in Canada for 10 years.

Court heard that Fumero was given credit for three months in remand and will serve another 33 months.

Inglis said on Aug. 17, Red Deer city RCMP executed a search warrant at an apartment in the 4800 block of 54th Street following an investigation in which they observed Fumero selling drugs from the balcony.

Police discovered that Fumero’s seven-year-old son was living in the apartment and while searching the premises noticed constantly ringing phones.

In addition, two people came to the balcony looking to buy drugs from Fumero, Inglis said.

Police recovered 11 grams of crack cocaine, all packaged into small amounts, 18 grams of powdered cocaine all packaged and 29 ecstasy tablets.

They also found more than $10,000 in cash hidden in various places in the apartment.

The money was forfeited to the Crown.

Fumero was set to have a trial on April 13, 2011, before the plea change and joint agreement reached between Inglis and defence lawyer Kevin Sproule.

Fumero told court he was sorry and assured it “will never happen again.” He said he also missed his son.

Fumero must also surrender a sample of his DNA and is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or explosives for 10 years after leaving jail.

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