Call to police about suspected impaired driver leads to firearm and drug charges in Welland


Published March 9, 2023 at 3:40 pm

Niagara Police says this was the shotgun found in the car before it was seized. (Photo: NRPS)

A 9-1-1 call to Niagara Police about a suspected impaired driver in Thorold yesterday (March 8) ended up being far more than that.

The call to the police at 1:20 pm from a motorist described a black Honda Civic “driving erratically and swerving across lanes of traffic” on Merrittville Highway near Port Robinson Rd. in Thorold.

Police caught up to the suspect’s car on Niagara St. near Merritt St. in Welland and pulled him over. Police say officers saw signs of impairment and arrested him.

Police allege that during the arrest, they found 0.4 grams of suspected fentanyl in his pants pocket. A check of his car allegedly turned up a loaded shotgun resting against the centre console on the passenger side.  Since the driver didn’t have a valid firearms licence, the shotgun was instantly seized.

Holden Albano, 20, of Welland, has been charged with possessing an unauthorized firearm, possession of a firearm without holding a licence, careless storage of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle, impaired operation of a motor vehicle and possession of fentanyl.

He was held for a bail hearing earlier today (March 9) and remains in custody.

The police wanted to “thank the community members who observed the dangerous driving habits of the suspect and contacted 9-1-1 to report the suspicion of impaired driving.”

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the investigating officer by dialling 905-688-4111, option 3, extension 1009354.



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