AKWESASNE –– An Akwesasne man is facing multiple charges after he was allegedly caught with a bag containing marijuana and cash following a boat chase on the St. Lawrence River.

Justin A. Tatum, 32, was charged Oct. 17 with flight from police, dangerous driving, possession for the purpose of distribution of cannabis, and proceeds of crime, Akwesasne Mohawk Police said in a news release issued Wednesday. A bail hearing is scheduled at a later date.

Police said the charges came after their marine unit was called to assist the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in stopping a vessel on the north side of Cornwall Island. The RCMP said the vessel had been seen in Cornwall where some sort of exchange had taken place.

The marine unit attempted to stop the vessel –– described as a white pontoon boat with two male occupants, one of whom was in a wheelchair –– but the boat failed to stop and ran into a shallow man-made channel, where the pontoon struck an object, causing the person in the wheelchair to be ejected from the vessel and dragged several feet in the water, the release said.

The pontoon boat then struck the shoreline and the operator fled carrying a bag, the release said.

Police immediately rendered medical assistance to the passenger, who was later transported to the hospital for minor injuries. The operator of the vessel –– Tatum –– was located and arrested following a brief foot pursuit.

Police seized a bag containing 5.6 pounds of cannabis and $4,000 (CDN) in cash, the release said.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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