Ex-mayor of Norman Wells fined for cocaine possession, sentenced to time served for missing court

Nathan Watson from his Facebook page

A former mayor of the Sahtu community of Norman Wells has been fined $2,000 after he was convicted earlier this year of possession of 3.2 grams of cocaine in 2017.

Nathan Watson, 49, also received a four day jail sentence for failure to appear in court back in May at his sentencing hearing Tuesday in Yellowknife.

He was handed his punishment by Judge Garth Malakoe who found Watson guilty at his trial back in January.

Watson was stopped by Norman Wells RCMP in October of 2017 after police say he failed to stop for a stop sign.

Police say he also failed a breathalyzer test but that charge was thrown out on a technicality.

Police found two packets of cocaine in Watson’s jacket pocket after he had removed it while at the RCMP detachment.

He argued unsuccessfully at trial that the drugs has been planted in his jacket pocket by someone at a party he had attended that night.

His original sentencing hearing was to have been held in May but instead a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in court in Yellowknife.

Watson was arrested by Mounties in Norman Wells on July 20th and spent three nights in jail before being released.

He was given credit for four days in custody and Malakoe said that time served covered the failure to appear charge.

Watson apologized to the court before being sentenced and said outside afterwards he was relieved to have the ordeal over with.

Watson was removed as mayor after two years and the town council was replaced at the same time when the territorial government took over the town’s administration.

It’s not clear whether Watson’s charge had any bearing on that decision.

Watson, who now owns a trucking company, was charged with possession of a narcotic and failure to appear in court in Hay River back in 1990.

He remains before the court after being named in a civil suit filed by the Town of Norman Wells against its former senior administrative officer (SAO) Catherine Mallon who is accused of misappropriating $1.2 million in town funds.

The lawsuit alleges she did so under Watson’s watch as mayor.

He says he has yet to file a statement of defence adding the criminal case should have nothing to do with the civil case.

It’s not entirely clear when the civil case will be back in court.









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.