Suspects from highway-closing takedown charged

Charges have been approved against the two men apprehended during the takedown Wednesday that forced closure of Highway 97 North - one of them well known to the courts and police.

Jamie Hal Hammerstrom, 41, and John Robert Barton Craig, 33, each face five counts, including breaking and entering and stealing a firearm and disguising face with intent to commit and offence.

article continues below

Hammerstrom also faces three counts of possessing a firearm contrary to an order and one count each of possessing stolen property under $5,000 and possessing a controlled substance.

The two were arrested late Wednesday morning when a vehicle linked to a theft of a gun and ammunition from a Chief Lake home earlier in the day was spotted by police. An RCMP officer fired off a round in the act although no one was injured.

A stretch of Highway 97 in the vicinity of Noranda Road was subsequently closed for several hours to allow investigators to gather evidence.

Hammerstrom, in particular, has long been regarded as a prolific offender by police.

Perhaps most notable, in 2014 he was sentenced to a further 18 months in jail for attempting to sell stolen firearms through accomplices while he was in custody as a way to raise money for bail.

The plan backfired in more ways than one because Hammerstrom was eventually acquitted on the charges that first put him in custody, only to find himself remaining behind bars facing the new charges.

In 2013, he had been found not guilty of stealing a pickup truck, dangerous driving and fleeing police after a B.C. Supreme Court Justice found Crown prosecution was unable to prove the thief's identity beyond a reasonable doubt.

That same year, charges against Hammerstrom from an alleged home invasion were stayed.

As for Craig, in January 2018, he was sentenced to 162 days in jail for attempting to flee police in a stolen pickup truck.

Read Related Topics


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Prince George Citizen welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. Comments that contain external links will not be permitted. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus
Sign Up For Our e-Newsletter!

Coping with cold weather POLL

How are you coping with the cold weather?

or  view results

Popular Citizen

Community Event Calendar

Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.

Lowest Gas Prices in Prince George
Prince George Gas Prices provided by