The first of six show-cause hearings, in conjunction with an incident on May 22 when seven individuals are alleged to have kidnapped and assaulted three others, was held in Estevan provincial court on Monday.
Six people have been arrested and formally charged for the crimes while a seventh, Mark Davis, is still being sought by police.
The incident involved the kidnapping of three people, and assault with a bat, tire iron and handgun. All parties arrested in the incident are charged with three counts of kidnapping, three counts of extortion, three counts of assault, including assault with a weapon, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime and uttering death threats.
Dustin Ryan MacNeil, 20, was not granted bail after Monday's show-cause hearing. All six of the accused reside in Estevan.
Spencer Preston Persson, 18, was remanded until his bail show-cause hearing on June 2; Creston Hanson, 18, is to remain in custody until his hearing June 9; Amanda Danielle Knebush, 19, is scheduled for her bail hearing on June 6; Jessica Lee Smith, 20, will have a hearing on June 2; and Ronald Himmelspeck, 20, will have his show-cause hearing on June 9, when he was already scheduled to appear for unrelated matters.
The courthouse was full during Monday's proceedings, as friends and family of the six accused packed in to await what would come next for the group that was arrested on May 23.
This incident is one of a growing number of violent crimes in Estevan over the past few years and highlights that fact all the more. The Estevan Police Service has noted the increase in these crimes.
"Violent crimes are happening more often," said EPS Chief Del Block, who added that he suspects many violent crimes are going unreported because people are being threatened.
The growing drug trade in Estevan is a primary factor in the increase of these crimes. This incident involving kidnapping stems from a drug deal that left one side unhappy, said Block.
He said much of the violence in other cases stems from people not paying a debt and noted the crime in the city is becoming more organized. Greater organization is a result of the drug dealing he said.