A man from northern Kentucky traveled to a Canadian resort for fun.
Instead, he received a visit from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for violating Canada’s quarantine law – and is now facing heavy fines and possible jail time.
John Pennington, 40, of Walton was fined $ 1,200 on June 25 after employees of a Banff hotel called police saying they believed the U.S. citizen Violated quarantine laws during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He could also face a fine of up to $ 750,000 or six months in jail.
Pennington could not be immediately reached for comment.
Americans are not allowed in Canada. But many have taken advantage of a loophole to travel across Canada en route to and from Alaska.
Fewer than 10,000 Canadians have died from COVID-19, according to the New York Times. More than 170,000 have died in the United States
“RCMP visited the hotel and as a result of their investigation they found a second person in his presence, a woman from Calgary, and discovered he was breaching quarantine requirements while traveling around Alberta, so he was issued a ticket within the hotel became the Alberta Public Health Act, “said RCMP Cpl. Tammy Keibel in Calgary.
Pennington, who calls himself Mister Collagen on social media, told his Facebook followers about the incident in a video on June 26th. His page has weight loss tips and motivational quotes. As of Tuesday, over 2,000 people had watched Pennington’s video explaining the incident.
He flew to Seattle and traveled to Canada and Alaska, he said in the video. He said he did not understand why the police visited his hotel room after he was approved by the border police. The local police did not stop him and the hotel allowed him to check in.
“I thought I was good to go,” he said in the video. He added that he would have understood if the hotel had told him not to stay when booking the room.
In the comments, someone asked him how he could get past the border patrol. He said he had told patrol officers that he was wearing a winking emoji for “transit purposes”.
In July, Canada introduced strict rules on the entry of Americans into Canada who claim to be traveling to Alaska.
The Canada Border Services Agency only allows such travelers to enter at one of five intersections: Abbotsford-Huntingdon (British Columbia), Kingsgate (British Columbia), Osoyoos (British Columbia), Coutts (Alberta) and North Portal (Saskatchewan) .
Drivers are granted reasonable transit time and are only allowed to travel within Canada by the most direct route into Alaska.
They are not allowed to drive through national parks, recreational facilities and tourist sites and will be given a hang tag for their rearview mirror with the date they must leave Canada.
Keibel said officials received a second complaint about the northern Kentucky man the next day when someone spotted a car with American license plates in a parking lot near the Sulfur Mountain gondola.
“You found Mr. Pennington up on Sulfur Mountain. Since he allegedly violated quarantine again on his travels, there were some consultations with a quarantine officer in Calgary and it was decided to indict Mr. Pennington under federal quarantine law, ”said Keibel.
“He was arrested and then released for a trial in November.”
Keibel said she was not aware of any other charges under the quarantine law.
She said those who break the rules were given strict instructions and Pennington received a warning after his first ticket.
“You don’t expect that. They would hope that people will follow the instructions given and comply with applicable laws, especially after it has been made clear what their expectations are, ”she said.
Keibel said Pennington was taken out of the park’s boundaries and told to continue his journey.
Julia is the Northern Kentucky government reporter on the Report For America program. Anonymous donors are committed to meeting the local donor share of their grant-funded position at The Enquirer. If you would like to support Julia’s work, you can donate to her position as Report For America on this website or email your editor, Carl Weiser, at [email protected] to find out how you can fund their work.
Do you know something that she should know? Send her a message at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @JFair_Reports.
Don’t miss any news from Northern Kentucky and sign up for the NKY.com newsletter here