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Ontario military commander charged after gun fired from boat, found in canal

The commander of 8 Wing and Canadian Forces Base Trenton is the man who was charged with firearm-related offences following an incident on the Murray Canal in Trenton, Ont. on the weekend.

The Royal Canadian Air Force confirmed Col. Leif Dahl faces five charges by Quinte West OPP following a “hunting-related incident” on Aug. 25.

“The CAF will have more to say on Col Dahl’s status in due course,” stated Jessica Lamirande, a spokesperson for the Department of National Defence, in an email to Global News on Tuesday.

OPP say on that day, officers around 2:30 p.m. responded to a report of a gunshot being fired from a boat in the canal which is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Police were told protected wildlife was being targeted.

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Quinte West OPP arrested the base commander of 8 Wing Trenton following a firearm incident on the Murray Canal in Trenton on Friday.

OPP say the suspect vessel left the area but was located a short time later. Further investigation revealed a firearm had been thrown into the canal. Divers were focusing on an area near the Carrying Place bridge.

The OPP’s underwater search and recovery unit (dive team) searched the canal and a firearm was found.

Dahl, 45, of Belleville, Ont., was arrested and charged with obstructing a peace officer and careless use of a firearm, along with three charges under Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act: using a firearm carelessly to hunt, hunting a bird without a licence and unlawfully having a loaded firearm in conveyance.

He was released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court in Belleville on Sept. 28.

OPP say the investigation is ongoing. Police would not comment on what type of wildlife was involved in the incident only that it was deemed “protected.”

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Neither OPP nor the RCAF would comment on the type of firearm recovered or if the firearm was a personal item or military property.

The RCAF would not provide any further comment on the incident.

“As the matter remains under investigation and before the courts, any additional comment would not be appropriate,” Lamirande said.

Dahl, who has more than 25 years of military experience, has been commander of 8 Wing Trenton since July 29, 2022.

more to come

— with files from John Lawless and Paul Soucy/Global News Kingston

&© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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