Former Adams Lake Indian Band chief jailed

Former Kamloops-area band chief pleads guilty to a string of fire arms offences.

  • Sep. 29, 2017 10:57 a.m.

—Kamloops this Week

The former chief of a Kamloops-area First Nations band is behind bars after pleading guilty to a string of firearms offences.

Nelson Leon, who spent nine years as chief of the Adams Lake Indian Band before suffering defeat in 2015, has been handed a four-week jail sentence.

The 55-year-old pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court to seven charges, including careless use of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, obstructing police and domestic assault, as well as a number of breaches.

Court heard Leon was caught shooting a semi-automatic firearm near his Chase residence in the early-morning hours of Aug. 14, 2016.

In addition to the jail time, Leon will be banned from possessing firearms for five years.

The domestic assault charge to which Leon pleaded guilty stems from an incident in Chase on Sept. 5. For that, he was placed on a one-year probation term and ordered to surrender a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database.

Leon finished second last year in the Adams Lake Indian Band’s election for chief, losing by 75 votes to Paul Michel.

RELATED: Leon seeks new position

In May, Leon filed a petition with the band’s community panel, requesting the removal of Michel, who was briefly ousted from his post before being reinstated a few weeks later.

In 2015, Leon ran for regional chief of B.C., finishing in fourth place. That election was won by former Tk’emlups Indian Band chief Shane Gottfriedson, who stepped down in March after posting a controversial photo on social media.

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