Alleged gang members to stand trial

A case involving two Red Deer-area residents with alleged ties to the Red Scorpions gang is heading straight to trial.

A case involving two Red Deer-area residents with alleged ties to the Red Scorpions gang is heading straight to trial.

Cory James Lesperance, 30, and Robin Joseph Stewart, 53, waived their right to a preliminary inquiry Wednesday in Red Deer provincial court.

The two, as well as Amber Theresa McLeod, 26, of Red Deer, were scheduled for a five-day preliminary inquiry starting Wednesday.

Inquiries are held to test the strength of the Crown’s case to determine if there is enough evidence to head to trial.

Greg Gordon appeared on behalf of Lesperance’s counsel, Chady Moustarah of Edmonton, and Brad Mulder appeared on behalf of Stewart’s counsel, Akrim Attia of Edmonton. Mulder had previously been Lesperance’s counsel but was removed as counsel of record in early July.

Gordon and Mulder told Judge Jim Hunter the accused had chosen to waive their preliminary inquiries and set a trial date. In November 2014 they had elected to be tried by a Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench judge alone. Their trial date will be set on Oct. 5.

Stewart and Lesperance are charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property over $5,000 and possession of a prohibited firearm.

Stewart and Leseprance were arrested at a rural residence in the Balmoral Heights residence on July 23, 2014. Red Deer RCMP, Calgary Police, Airdire RCMP and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team conducted a three-city raid on two residences and a storage locker in Alberta. The residences were in Balmoral Heights and in Calgary.

After the arrests, Police said they believed Lesperance to be a member of the Red Scorpions gang. The gang is based out of the Lower Mainland area of B.C. and was linked to the murder of six people in Surrey, B.C. in April 2009.

The search warrants were as a result of a two-month investigation. More than 1.4 kg of drugs as well as several firearms were seized by police.

The same Balmoral Heights residence was the scene of a violent gun fight on March 19, 2013. Police have said the matters are unrelated. Bradley Voykin, 25, and Joshua Cusler, 29, of Red Deer, are committed to stand trial on aggravated assault and weapons charges in this matter. Their trial date will be set on Oct. 5.

A fourth person was arrested with Lesperance, Stewart and McLeod on July 23, 2014. Nicholas David James White, 22, was arrested with McLeod at the Calgary residence. White pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one breach of an undertaking. He was sentenced to six months in custody.

In November 2013 White and Lesperance were arrested as part of a drug bust by Innisfail and Red Deer RCMP in both communities. Lesperance was found guilty of possession for the purpose of trafficking and sentenced to two years in jail. White, who was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a controlled susbtance, possession of a weapon obtained by crime and possession of a prohibited weapon, has a trial scheduled for March 2016.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

EDMONTON — Alberta’s COVID-19-era budget made a hard landing Thursday with an… Continue reading

The expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre has been discussed for over a decade. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital expansion gets about $6 million in 2021 provincial budget

According to the government’s three-year plan, the project will get $59 million by 2024.

The Town of Sylvan Lake has launched a new contest to attract a new business. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Red Deer Rebels forward Josh Tarzwell is hoping to pick up where he left off last season as the 2020-21 WHL season kicks off Friday in Red Deer against the Medicine Hat Tigers. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Rebels set to host Tigers in WHL season opener

24-game WHL Alberta only season kicks off night Friday at the Centrium

Alberta reported an additional 399 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, on 9,217 tests, for a test positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. (Image courtesy CDC)
Red Deer down to 562 active COVID-19 cases

8 new COVID-19 deaths, 399 additional COVID-19 cases

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

FILE - New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist reacts after a save during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in New York, in this Sunday, March 1, 2020, file photo. The Flyers defeated the Rangers 5-3. Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist will sit out the upcoming NHL season because of a heart condition, announcing the news a little more than two months after joining the Washington Capitals. Lundqvist posted a written statement and a videotaped one on social media Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, saying it was a "pretty tough and emotional day." The 38-year-old from Sweden was bought out by the New York Rangers after 15 seasons and signed a $1.5 million, one-year deal with Washington in October. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa holds up water collected from Neskantaga First Nation, where residents were evacuated over tainted water in October, during a rally at Queen's Park in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal's Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Quebec starts COVID-19 vaccination bookings for seniors; those in Ontario must wait

Quebec starts COVID-19 vaccination bookings for seniors; those in Ontario must wait

The corporate logo of Pembina Pipeline Corp. (TSX:PPL) is shown. Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corp. says it is "doing what is right for the country and fellow Canadians" by shipping unit trains full to propane to Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Pembina Pipeline posts $1.2 billion loss on petrochemical, LNG project impairments

CALGARY — Pembina Pipeline Corp. is reporting a $1.2 billion net fourth-quarter… Continue reading

Rode
Red Deer College esports league off to a good start

Red Deer College Kings hockey veteran Jacob Wozney has been involved in… Continue reading

This combination photo shows the cover of "Later," left, and author Stephen King. Readers may know him best for “Carrie,” “The Shining” and other bestsellers commonly identified as “horror,” but King has long had an affinity for other kinds of narratives, from science fiction and prison drama to the Boston Red Sox. (Hard Case Crime via AP, left, and AP)
Stephen King talks about crime, creativity and new novel

Stephen King talks about crime, creativity and new novel

A Loblaws store is seen in Montreal on March 9, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Loblaw’s discount stores on upswing after ‘flight to conventional’ stores: president

Loblaw’s discount stores on upswing after ‘flight to conventional’ stores: president

Most Read