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Not guilty pleas by former Sheshatshiu chief for running illegal gaming house

Nfld. & Labrador

It’s alleged Andrew Penashue illegally operated a video lottery system out of a shed in Sheshatshiu.

Andrew Penashue is alleged to have operated a video lottery system out of a shed

CBC News ·

Andrew Penashue was charged after RCMP seized 11 VLTs and an ATM machine in September 2018. (Bailey White/CBC)

A former chief of the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation has pleaded not guilty to keeping an illegal gaming house. 

Andrew Penashue pleaded not guilty to several charges in court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Monday. 

One charge, under the Criminal Code, states that Penashue illegally kept a common gaming house.

Penashue is also facing four other charges under the Lotteries Act. Specifically, he is accused of operating a video lottery (VLT) without the approval of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC), using terminals not affixed with the decal of the ALC on a site not approved by the corporation and operating more than five VLTs, which is also against regulations.  

Penashue also pleaded not guilty to possessing a .22 calibre air rifle without a license.  

In September 2018, RCMP said they seized 11 video lottery terminals, a bingo device and an ATM after searching a shed adjacent to a house in Sheshatshiu. 

Mary Gregoire, 55, who is listed at the same address as Penashue, is facing the same set of charges and has entered not guilty pleas as well. 

Former Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation chief Andrew Penashue arriving for an appearance at Happy Valley-Goose Bay provincial court for illegally operating a gaming house. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Penashue and Gregoire have not yet entered pleas with relation to breaking a Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation bylaw by operating a video lottery on a reserve. 

Penashue, who has served as SIFN chief in the past, ran in the past two elections but lost.

He will next appear in court on July 2.

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Jacob Barker

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