A man described by his own lawyer as a “pox” on Red Deer was handed a federal jail term on Friday after pleading guilty to dozens of charges.
Steven Lagace, 24, of Red Deer, pleaded guilty to almost 40 charges involving the theft of stolen vehicles, breaches of court orders, failing to appear in court, dangerous driving, while disqualified among others.
More than 15 other charges were withdrawn in exchange for the guilty pleas.
Lagace, who already had a lengthy record, was jailed for another five years and had his driver’s licence suspended for another three years once he leaves jail.
Lagace’s lawyer Michael Sparks of Edmonton told Judge Bert Skinner that his client wanted to clean up his charges.
“He realizes he’s been a pox on Central Alberta for the community and the police,” Sparks said.
The lawyer also said Lagace fell into the criminal life because of an addiction to crystal meth.
Sparks said Lagace realizes he can’t live in this area any more and wants to move back to Quebec.
Lagace has been in jail since his arrest in July. However, that time wasn’t credited to his sentence.
The most serious incidents occurred on May 7 in Red Deer when he tried to run down two Mounties trying to arrest him.
The dramatic escape happened about 12:30 a.m. when two plainclothes police officers tried to arrest Lagace on a stolen property charge near in Glendale, in the city’s north end.
Before the officers could handcuff Lagace, he climbed into a nearby pickup and took off.
“As a result, police discharged their sidearms in an effort to stop the action,” said an RCMP release at the time.
Police did not say how many shots were fired but the pickup was damaged. It was found abandoned a short distance away.
It was estimated that Lagace was speeding at about 230 km/h in the incident, court heard.
Crown prosecutor Robin Fiander told court that Legace was arrested in the Coronation area a few weeks later.
Police recovered scores of stolen items, including ATVs, stolen credit cards and others stolen pieces of identification as well as
a Ford F-350 truck stolen from Drumheller, a travel trailer and a Bombardier racing quad.
One of the vehicle theft pleas was when Lagace tried to steal a pickup in Blackfalds on April 20, 2007, and bit the owner on the hand when the man tried to stop him.
Lagace, court heard, had just finished a two-year jail term for several previous convictions in 2007 and was on 18-month’s probation when he committed several of the recent crimes.