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Grand Forks man pleads not guilty to charges related to city arrest

The accused allegedly damaged an RCMP vehicle last summer, according to a provincial court judge
The man appeared before Judge Robert Brown at Grand Forks provincial court on Tuesday, June 1. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks’ Matthew Straume has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from an altercation with Grand Forks Mounties last summer and an alleged driving offense last fall. Straume meanwhile faces three counts of federal drug trafficking under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

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Appearing at Grand Forks provincial court Tuesday, June 1, Straume wanted Judge Robert Brown to adjourn all his matters so that he could “get a good lawyer.”

“Can you put it off for as long as possible?” Straume asked.

Judge Brown answered that Straume, whose drug trafficking charges date back to February, has had five months to retain legal counsel. “It looks like you’re just trying to put it off and put it off,” the judge said.

Brown then read out the Crown’s allegations, telling Straume that he would have to enter pleas to all the charges.

Straume is accused of criminal mischief for having allegedly damaged the tires of an RCMP vehicle while police were handling an arrest on July 30, 2020. He then allegedly obstructed two Mounties in the course of their on-scene duties, for which Brown said he was charged with willfully resisting a peace officer.

The Crown further alleges that he knowingly drove on a prohibited driver’s license in Grand Forks last October, allegedly breaking the Motor Vehicle Act.

Straume pleaded not guilty to all three charges.

Judge Brown then adjourned Straume’s matters to June 29, when he said Straume would be expected to enter pleas to his drug trafficking charges.



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