Border jumper’s Canadian jail time nearly over

The Alaskan man who blew through the U.S.-Canada border at Beaver Creek last year must really love his coffee.

The Alaskan man who blew through the U.S.-Canada border at Beaver Creek last year must really love his coffee.

Jason Echeverri, 29, played a key role in an incident at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre when 16 inmates refused to return to their cells as ordered. They were protesting the amount of coffee they received behind bars.

For his role in the incident, Echevarri was placed in solitary lockup for a number of weeks following the protest, but aside from that incident, the territorial court heard on Friday that Echevarri has been a co-operative inmate and is going to counselling.

Thankfully for Echeverri, he’ll only have to put up with the WCC’s bad java for another few days.

Judge Michael Cozens noted the incident during Echevarri’s sentencing for his running the border and ensuing police chase in October 2012.

Cozens gave Echeverri 330 days for dangerous driving and breaching the Canadian border, but also credited him 1.5 days for each day served, meaning Echeverri had only a week left to serve when the sentence was passed last Friday.

Echeverri had been living in Alaska and was on parole when he tried to cross through the border into Canada last fall.

He told border officials that he was headed through Canada on his way to the southern U.S., but given his criminal history he was refused entry into Canada.

Echeverri turned around and headed back to the U.S. side of the border, where he was arrested by U.S. officials. After a struggle, Echeverri escaped and blew through the Canadian border post at a “high rate of speed.”

He then led RCMP on a 264-kilometre chase south to Destruction Bay, though Judge Cozens noted that during most of that chase the road was empty. Echeverri was not within sight of RCMP and his speed remained around 130 to 160 kilometres per hour.

Outside of Destruction Bay, RCMP deployed a spike belt that destroyed the front tires of Echeverri’s vehicle, but he continued driving for another 16 kilometres before abandoning his car and fleeing on foot into the woods. RCMP tracked him through the forest for eight kilometres before he was arrested.

In reaching his decision, Cozens read through a weighty stack of case law relating to other police chases across the country, but few cases of any relevance. Most police chases, Cozens said, involved dangerous driving through crowded city streets and intersections, and often endangered many other motorists’ lives.

But Echeverri’s flight from justice endangered few lives aside from the risky escape through the border itself. Cozens even noted that when Echeverri passed two cars on the highway after blowing his tires on the spike belt, he pulled onto the shoulder to let them pass before continuing to run from police. Given how rare these kind of police chases are, Judge Cozens said he didn’t feel there was particular need to send a message with Echeverri’s sentence.

The Crown had been seeking a more serious sentence of up to four years.

While he will be finished his Canadian sentence shortly, Cozens assured the Crown that Echeverri will only be released into the custody of American officials, where he will stand trial for crimes committed in that country as part of his brazen rush for freedom.

Contact Jesse Winter at

jessew@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Most Read