John Pennington was arrested and charged by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after officials said he breached Canada’s travel rules during the coronavirus pandemic.
Americans are currently barred from traveling through Canada unless they’re driving to and from Alaska — people who spend the night must quarantine in their hotel.
Pennington was initially fined $910 ($1,200 Canadian) on June 25 after hotel staff called police on him, accusing him of violating the quarantine.
Instead of leaving Banff the next day, he went to Sulphur Mountain, where police arrested him and charged him with breaching the federal Quarantine Act in Canada.
If he’s convicted, he faces a $569,000 fine ($750,000 Canadian) or six years in prison.
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John Pennington, 40, of Walton, Kentucky, was arrested and charged in connection to a June trip he took to Banff in Alberta, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Tammy Keibel told NPR.
Pennington, who entered Canada from Alaska, was first fined $910 ($1,200 Canadian) on June 25, when staff at the Rimrock Hotel in Banff called police, voicing concerns that he may have been breaching quarantine.
Americans are currently banned from traveling through Canada because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Americans can drive through a direct route if they’re going to and from Alaska, but aren’t allowed to stop at tourist locations or national parks along the way. If they plan to stay at a hotel, they must undergo a quarantine.
Upon fining Pennington, staff and police ordered him to stay in his hotel room until he continued his journey from Alaska to the lower 48 states the next day, Keibel told NPR.
Banff Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sgt. Michael Buxton-Carr told CBC News that Pennington did not listen, however, and instead visited a local tourist attraction.
Officials found him at Sulphur Mountain after someone reported a car with an Ohio license plate in the area, which ended up being Pennington’s vehicle.
“Investigators determined Mr. Pennington had not left town as required on the morning of June 26 but had chosen to visit a popular tourist site,” Buxton-Carr told CBC News. “There are amenities available for essential needs, food and lodging, at the hotel. There was no legitimate reason to go up to Sulphur Mountain.”
Pennington was arrested and charged with breaching the federal Quarantine Act in Canada. He’s scheduled to appear in court in November.
He faces a $569,000 fine ($750,000 Canadian) or six years in prison if he’s convicted.
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