Methamphetamine Seized After Automated Licence Plate Recognition Reader Hits on Suspended Driver

On January 30th, 2023, an officer assigned to the Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) of the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) was operating a police patrol vehicle equipped with an Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) reader on Hartzel Road near Walnut Street, in the City of St. Catharines.

At 8:51pm the officer was alerted by the ALPR that the registered owner of a Mazda3 sedan travelling north of Hartzel Road was a suspended driver and not permitted to operate a motor vehicle in the Province of Ontario.  After conducting a traffic stop, the officer confirmed the driver was indeed the registered owner.  As a result, the driver was arrested for driving while under suspension, contrary to section 53(1) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.  Search incident to arrest, the officer found 16.9 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine.

Kevin Lee BENTUM (50 years) of Niagara-on-the-Lake has been arrested and charged with the following offences:

• Possession of crystal methamphetamine – (Controlled Drugs & Substances Act)

• Driving while under suspension – (Ontario Highway Traffic Act)

BENTUM was released on a Form 9 Appearance Notice and is scheduled to attend court on February 23rd, 2023, at the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse located at 59 Church Street, in the City of St. Catharines.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the officer-in-charge by dialing 905-688-4111, option 3, extension 1009558.

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.

The Niagara Regional Police Service ALPR program has been designed to comply with the guidance of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

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Incident #23-10384