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News archive for January 2, 2014

Whitehorse Correctional Centre guard charged, held

A Whitehorse correctional officer is locked up in the same jail he was patrolling just last week.

By Christopher Reynolds on January 2, 2014 at 4:03 pm

A Whitehorse correctional officer is locked up in the same jail he was patrolling just last week.

He stands accused of drug possession at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre (WCC) for the purpose of trafficking.

Michael Gaber, 45, was arrested at the WCC on Boxing Day.

Whitehorse RCMP say he was found on the property with marijuana and methylphenidate with the alleged intention of selling the substances — one illegal, the other controlled.

Methylphenidate, prescribed under the trade name Ritalin, among others, is a stimulant often used to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

“I came in to interview him, but I don’t know how long the WCC was working on him,” RCMP lead investigator Const. Gerald Sherk told the Star today.

“Their investigation is what initiated everything.”

Gaber, employed at WCC for roughly five years, was denied bail last Friday.

His case will proceed by indictment.

A phone call to Gaber’s home was answered by a woman who declined to give her name or relation to the accused.

“We’re doing OK. We’ve got lots of family and good support,” she said.

Evidence brought forward in court appearances so far is protected under a publication ban.

Gaber is next due in court Jan. 8.

The Department of Justice would not comment this morning on Gaber’s employment status at the WCC.

“The Department of Justice must respect the publication ban related to the case and is also unable to speak to personnel issues or questions of a personal nature,” said Justice spokesperson Megan Foreman.

The case echoes one going back to 1990, when a correctional officer at WCC was dismissed and charged after drugs were found in his coat pocket.

That officer went to trial in April 1991 following the discovery of hashish and prescription drugs — muscle relaxants and painkillers — inside a sealed package of throat lozenges during an employee search in the lunch room.

He was found innocent.

He said he was “set up,” and sued the Yukon government for wrongful dismissal in June 1991.

CommentsAdd a comment

June Jackson

Jan 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm

As usual I speak only for myself..

I think justice in the Yukon is something of an oxymoron.. Lucky for criminals that we have the justice system we have in place for them.  Which is to say, Mr. Gaber will likely be back at work, business as usual in record time.

Just Say'in

Jan 3, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Remember June, What we have is not a Justice system, it is a legal system and it employes judges and lawyers. It is an industry.

Baffled

Jan 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

Although I do feel bad for the Guard’s family and a little bit to him as he obviously got caught up in the dream of quick/easy side cash, I can honestly say that I am glad he got caught solely based on the fact that WCC has been suspending visiting privileges to regular people because they’re ION Drug machine always tests people positive even when they never have used or touched drugs.  The machine is ridiculous!  WCC suspending visits in hopes of eliminating drugs being brought into the jail, taking away from something that most inmates & their families look forward too, all the while it was their own employee(s) bringing them in…
Maybe this will be a wake-up call to WCC to not point the finger at innocent people without proof and look in their own backyard more often… or to re-think their ION machine. Even reports published through Corrections Canada state the % of false positives these machines tend to give, which is shockingly high!! Do they use this machine on their own staff?? Half the time, the machine at WCC is broken and can’t be used….
Corruption and a Malignancy within the correctional systems all over the world, Yukon included, that has long been lamented but never eradicated: The code of silence…

withheld

Jan 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm

This is a shocking story of a person in a position of authority snubbing his nose at that same authority.  I truly have to wonder the root of his decision.  Was it greed, was it a small favor or overlooking something that led to blackmail, was it something outside of the jail that led to inside the jail.  Bottom line I feel for his family who are now forever changed by his behavior.
I will agree with previous poster that unless you are searching your guards, maintenance and delivery people daily or at least randomly you should not assume it is visitors running the drugs

bobby bitman

Jan 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Consequences for breach of trust such as in this case should be double what the same offense would be for a person who was not given authority to prevent the very behaviour he was engaged in.
How in the world can people in jail have an ounce of respect for a system that tells them to be honest, trustworthy members of society while that same system has employees selling drugs to the inmates?!
This guy is a true criminal, with no respect whatsoever for his job.  He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Become a trusted person in authority so you can REALLY profit and get away with what crimes you intend to commit.

Throw the book at him.

DLP

Jan 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Found “innocent”? Perhaps I’m missing something, but doesn’t the legal system find people “Not Guilty” as opposed to “innocent?” They are not necessarily the same thing, y’know…

Earl Camenbert

Jan 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm

I find it interesting that there is no issue with printing this man’s name. So often we see many others being arrested and charged, and no names are given. What is the justification of the Whitehorse Star for printing the names of some accused and not others?

DMZ

Jan 6, 2014 at 11:14 pm

They still have to prove the charges, right? Most of the comments here assume he’s guilty. Hope y’all don’t get called for jury duty. Ever.

Yukon Justice

Jan 7, 2014 at 10:38 am

If you scratch the surface I’m sure you will find gang activity involved in this.

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