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Suspect facing weapons charges arrested as he leaves Lloydminster courtroom

The moment Nathan O’Brien stepped outside of the courtroom, two RCMP officers told him he was under arrest and handcuffed him

UPDATE: Lloydminster RCMP issued a media release April 12 in the morning saying that Nathan O'Brien of Lloydminster, Sask., was arrested following an investigation into firearms trafficking. RCMP say that on Feb. 26 the RCMP executed a search warrant at two Lloydminster homes and allegedly found several unsafely stored firearms and ammunition inside. 

Police say a warrant was issued for O'Brien and he was arrested on March 30. 

LLOYDMINSTER – Nathan O’Brien – who faces numerous weapons-related offences – was arrested as he left the courtroom Monday in Lloydminster.

O’Brien, 37, appeared in court as scheduled that morning and told the court he needed time to get a lawyer. Judge Michelle Baldwin adjourned the matter until May 9.

The moment that O’Brien stepped outside of the courtroom door, two RCMP officers – one in plain clothes and another in uniform – told him he was under arrest and handcuffed him.

O’Brien then appeared in court by telephone hours later from the Lloydminster RCMP cells and North Battleford Crown Prosecutor Loren Klein opposed his release. The court heard that O’Brien was arrested for breaching the conditions of his release on April 10 and 11 for failing to abide by his curfew.

O’Brien asked the court for an immediate bail hearing saying that it was all a miscommunication and that he had permission from his probation officer to leave the residence he was at and to be at another residence.

“I rent out that house. It was not safe for me to be there. I can’t stay there. It’s not safe.

“One guy punched me in the face,” he said, adding that he was thrown out a window.

O’Brien told the court that he owned the house and it was the focus of an RCMP raid.

“There were people there that are into drugs and all sorts of stuff and I didn’t feel safe there.”

He told the court that he called his probation officer saying he couldn’t stay at the house because it wasn’t safe for him to do so.

“I didn’t intend to do this. I don’t know, man, how do I explain myself to you guys? This is going to wreck me. I have a job, a house, a mortgage, I gotta look after my kids.”

Judge Baldwin told O’Brien that she understood his position but cautioned him that if he proceeded with a bail hearing that day and she didn’t have enough information to grant him bail, he wouldn’t have another chance at bail in provincial court and would have to wait 90 days for a bail hearing at Court of Queen’s Bench in Battleford.

O’Brien said he could be released to his estranged wife’s home and it was a good home, but Judge Baldwin said she needs a probation officer to verify this.  

“I can’t just take your word for it. Unfortunately, I hear a lot of stuff sitting up here.”

After an almost 20 minute exchange with Judge Baldwin, O’Brien agreed to seek help from legal aid and postpone his bail hearing until Thursday.

“So I just sit here in the cells until then?” he asked.

“No, they’ll take you to the correctional centre,” said Judge Baldwin.

O'Brien granted bail in March

O’Brien was first granted bail on March 31 in Lloydminster court; the Crown didn’t oppose his release.  

According to court documents, Lloydminster RCMP charged O’Brien for firearms offences on Feb. 26 of this year, as well as offences dating back to 2020. He is charged with, on Feb. 26, storing a handgun in a careless manner, storing a shotgun in a careless manner, storing ammunition in a careless manner, possession of a restricted firearm with readily accessible ammunition capable of being discharged and no license to possess the restricted firearm.

He is also charged with having a firearms license for a handgun, but on Feb. 26, in the 4400 block of 32 Street in Lloydminster, Sask., had the handgun at a place he wasn't permitted. 

Court documents also show that between Dec. 1, 2020, and January 17, 2022, in Lloydminster, Sask., he allegedly transferred a handgun knowing that he wasn’t authorized to do so, and having lost or had stolen from his possession a handgun and failed to report the loss to the police, and firearms officer or chief firearms officer.

The charges against O'Brien haven't been proven in court.