Arrest warrant issued for ex-Norman Wells mayor, convicted of cocaine possession

Yellowknife Courthouse (CKLB File photo).

An arrest warrant has been issued for a former mayor of the Sahtu community of Norman Wells, convicted of cocaine possession, after he failed to show up in a Yellowknife court Friday for sentencing.

Nathan Watson, 49, was found guilty earlier this year of possessing cocaine.

That was despite an argument in court that his Charter rights were violated following a traffic stop in 2017.

Watson was pulled over by Norman Wells RCMP in the evening on October 6, 2017 after he failed to stop at a stop sign.

Court heard that the officer smelled alcohol on Watson’s breath and administered a roadside breath test which Watson failed.

When he was taken to the detachment, police found 3.2 grams of cocaine in the pocket of his jacket which he had removed.

He unsuccessfully argued that the warrantless search of his jacket violated his charter rights and that the drugs were planted in his jacket earlier in the evening at a party he’d attended.

The judge didn’t agree with him on either point.

Watson already missed an earlier sentencing hearing when he said his vehicle broke down.

A lawyer told the court Friday that Watson was in a car accident last week and couldn’t make it to court Friday.

The judge said he wanted more details on that before he eventually issued the arrest warrant.

Watson was also scheduled to appear in civil court in Yellowknife Friday.

The community is reportedly suing Watson and former Senior Administrative Officer Catherine Mallon for misappropriation of funds.

It’s reportedly alleged that she fraudulently took $1.25 million from the town between 2015 and 2017 while Watson allegedly let it happen under his watch as mayor.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.