Meth-fuelled crime spree costs man five years

A methamphetamine-fuelled crime spree, in which a Red Deer man would steal a vehicle and drive it to the next vehicle he stole, ended with a five-year jail sentence.

A methamphetamine-fuelled crime spree, in which a Red Deer man would steal a vehicle and drive it to the next vehicle he stole, ended with a five-year jail sentence.

Jesse Bissonnette, 29, of Red Deer pleaded guilty to 11 new charges on Tuesday. He was then sentenced on those and four other charges he had already pleaded guilty to in Red Deer provincial court.

Starting on March 21, he stole six vehicles and many of the items inside them. Crown prosecutor Murray McPherson said Bissonnette would steal one vehicle, drive it to another one, and leave the first vehicle behind, departing in the newly stolen one.

After multiple complaints of vehicle theft in the area over a four-day period, Blackfalds RCMP were following a stolen car driven by Bissonnette on March 25. Bissonnette drove by an unmarked police car at an estimated speed of 160 km/h. The officer tried to catch up and turned on the sirens, but was unable to keep up.

The officer followed the stolen car down McKenzie Road to its terminus at Range Road 263. The stolen car went onto a dirt road, turned around and the police officer said he was almost struck head-on by Bissonnette.

A second RCMP member set up a spike belt to stop the vehicle.

Bissonette admitted to swerving into a ditch to avoid the spike belt.

He narrowly avoided hitting the officer and he did hit the officer’s cruiser, then continued his flight from police. A third officer pursued and got a good look at Bissonnette. Two days later, Blackfalds RCMP arrested Bissonnette.

The day before the flight from police and dangerous driving charges occurred, Bissonnette pled guilty to possession of drugs and possession for trafficking charges.

The charges related to an Aug. 25, 2013, incident when he was arrested while carrying cocaine and meth. He was spotted at the Blackfalds Fas Gas in a stolen vehicle by the owner of the vehicle.

On the back of the vehicle was a quad that was also reported stolen. The owner of the vehicles chased Bissonnette down and confronted him. Bissonnette fled but was later arrested by police. He was to be sentenced on these matters on Aug. 19 of this year, but because of other theft charges and an eagerness to get the matters resolved, they were rolled into his sentence for the most recent charges.

The Crown asked for a total of five years in jail for Bissonnette, bringing an end to the crime spree. The sentence encompasses both the recent crime spree and the drug charges from 2013.

Defence counsel Patty McNaughton agreed with the Crown’s proposed sentence. She said Bissonnette had just moved back to Red Deer and reconnected with old friends, which led to him using drugs. At the time of all these more recent crimes, Bissonnette was using meth.

Bissonnette apologized for the crimes and said he didn’t want to waste anyone’s time, thus his early guilty plea.

Judge Jim Hunter agreed to the proposed five-year sentence and also ordered Bissonnette to provide a DNA sample, added a two-year driving prohibition on completion of his sentence and banned him for life from firearms and weapons.

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