911 Call for Suspected Impaired Driver Results in Arrest and Recovery of Firearm – Thorold

On March 8th, 2023, at 1:23pm the Communications Unit of the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) received an emergency 9-1-1 call from a motorist who suspected an impaired driver.  A black Honda Civic was observed driving erratically and swerving across lanes of traffic on Merrittville Highway near Port Robinson Road, in the City of Thorold.

Uniform patrol officers assigned to 3 District (Welland / Pelham) responded to the area and located the suspect vehicle on Niagara Street near Merritt Street, in the City of Welland.  A traffic stop was conducted and upon speaking with the driver, officers detected signs of impairment that resulted in an arrest for impaired driving.

Search incident to arrest, officers located .4 grams of suspected fentanyl in the suspect’s pant pocket.  Additionally, upon closer inspection of the suspects’ vehicle, a shotgun was observed resting adjacent to the centre console on the passenger side.  As the suspect did not possess a valid firearms licence, the loaded shotgun was seized as evidence to the offence.

Holden ALBANO (20 years) of Welland has been arrested and charged with the following Criminal offences:

• Possess firearm other than restricted or prohibited firearm knowing possession is unauthorized

• Possession of a firearm other than a restricted or prohibited firearm without holding a licence

• Careless storage of a firearm, weapon, prohibited device

• Unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle

• Impaired operation of a motor vehicle

• Possession of fentanyl

ALBANO was held for a bail hearing that took place earlier today (March 9th, 2023) via video link to the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse, located at 59 Church Street in the City of St. Catharines.  He has since been remanded into the custody of Ontario Correctional Services.

The NRPS would like to thank the community members who observed the dangerous driving habits of the suspect and contacted 9-1-1 to report the suspicion of impaired driving.  The leading cause of criminal deaths in Canada is impaired driving and affects thousands of lives every year.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the investigating officer by dialing 905-688-4111, option 3, extension 1009354.

Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-8477.  Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information that leads to an arrest.


Incident #23-23515