A Yukon Supreme Court judge granted an order last month to shut down what investigators had described as one of the busiest bootlegging operations in Pelly Crossing. (Yukon News files)

Judge grants order to shut down Pelly Crossing bootlegger

Justice Suzanne Duncan issued the community safety order on July 17.

A Yukon Supreme Court judge granted an order last month to shut down what investigators had described as one of the busiest bootlegging operations in Pelly Crossing.

In an order made July 17 but officially filed four days later, Justice Suzanne Duncan agreed that the illegal sale of alcohol from a home in the Jon Ra subdivision was having an adverse effect on the community.

The order prohibits anyone, and in particular resident Richard Hager, from “causing, contributing to, permitting or acquiescing” to the bootlegging activity. It also requires Selkirk First Nation, which owns the home, to “do everything reasonably possible to prevent the Activities from continuing or reoccurring” and allows for the monitoring of the property to ensure compliance.

The order is in effect for 12 months.

Hager, should he not comply, could face charges under the territorial Liquor Act, which prohibits the sale of alcohol without a licence.

The Yukon’s director of public safety and investigations, Jeff Simons, filed a petition to the court, with the support of Selkirk First Nation, seeking the order in June.

The petition came after months of investigation into Hager’s activities by the territory’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit.

According to documents filed in support of the petition, Hager had been warned against bootlegging but had continued to sell alcohol in Pelly Crossing anyway, which, while not a dry community, doesn’t have any licenced establishments.

Hager was documented driving to liquor stores or off-sales in Whitehorse, Mayo and Carmacks and buying large quantities of alcohol — in particular, Smirnoff vodka — that he would then split into smaller amounts and sell back to people in Pelly Crossing at “exorbitant” prices.

Text messages appeared to show Hager selling quantities as small as a single shot.

Investigators said the activity was attracting “property offences and violence,” and also took advantage of vulnerable community members including people with addictions, elders and youth. Women and girls, some of the court documents noted, were at particular risk of exchanging sexual activity for alcohol, and Hager had also received text messages from some residents asking him to not sell alcohol to certain people because of how they would behave if they became intoxicated.

The petition was heard in court in Whitehorse last month; although Hager briefly appeared in the gallery of the courtroom before the hearing, he did not formally oppose the granting of the order.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

From Whitehorse to the Whitecaps

Joe Hanson is starting his second season with the Vancouver Whitecaps academy

Mount Lorne Mis-Adventure Trail Race doesn’t miss a step

Blue skies and sunshine for a chilly fall race

Canada Summer Games postponed

Yukon Canada Summer Games athletes will now work on mastering skills in preperation for 2022

Site selection for battery project draws ire of nearby landowners

Yukon Energy is accepting public comments on three possible sites for the project

Taking a closer look at the cosmos

Star gazing party scheduled for Sept. 18

Yukon government releases new guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms and sending children to school

The advice sorts symptoms into three categories: red, yellow and green

Nominations closed in Watson Lake byelection

Four candidates are running for mayor

Baggage screening changes begin

Passengers are asked to arrive earlier than normal in order to accommodate the new temporary system

Yukon Government extends education review

The final report is scheduled for release in March 2021

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Lawsuit against Freedom Trails settled

The suit was dismissed with consent of all parties

Tank farm takes another step towards development

OCP designation passes second reading

Climate change strategy targets 30 per cent reduction in territory greenhouse gases by 2030

The strategy includes rebates for electric vehicles but puts off mining targets for two years

Most Read