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Man fined for liquor sales at Gatekeeper clubhouse in New Glasgow

Police have blocked off MacLean Street in New Glasgow as they execute a search warrant at the Gate Keepers' clubhouse.
Police blocked off MacLean Street in New Glasgow as they executed a search warrant at the former Gatekeepers' clubhouse. One person has filed a guilty plea to keeping liquor for sale from a July 14, 2016 incident. -FILE

PICTOU – A man accused of keeping liquor for sale at a New Glasgow clubhouse has been fined in relation to the offence.

John Joseph MacLean, 51 of New Glasgow entered a guilty plea to a charge of keeping liquor for sale at 118 MacLean St., New Glasgow, which was the former clubhouse of the motorcycle club, The Gatekeepers. He had originally pleaded not guilty to the charge and was expected to go to trial in June.

Two other men, Daniel Simms, 54, of Colchester, and Issam Karam, 52, of Glace Bay, were also charged in relation to the July 14, 2016, incident, but their charges were withdrawn when MacLean entered the guilty plea.

The Crown told the court that when police searched the w clubhouse they found a large room with couches, pool tables and a system for selling alcohol. They also seized utility bills, notebooks, ledgers of payables and receivables as well as receipts from the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission. A total of 260 individual beer bottles were seized as well as 80 bottles of coolers, 40 bottles of liquor that were partially filled as well as some bottles of unopened liquor.

The Crown said MacLean was a member of The Gatekeepers and one of the people scheduled to work bar shifts.

A legal representative for MacLean clarified for the court that MacLean was one of several members of the club and “his participation was no more or no less than a single member.”

MacLean was fined $345 and the liquor seized by police is to be forfeited.

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