Police found Andrew Jason Hudder asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle on April 17, 2020. At the time he had an illegal loaded pistol strapped to his chest in violation of two previous Firearm Prohibition Orders imposed on him after convictions for attempted murder in 2014 and 2017.
After a high-speed chase and his eventual apprehension, police discovered someone removed the serial number from the pistol in Hudder’s possession.
Hudder is well-known to police as an associate of the Melvin crime family – one of two “household names” in Nova Scotia’s organized crime circles. He has 28 previous criminal convictions in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. He was acquitted of attempted murder in 2014 when Crown prosecutors failed to bring a compelling case against him.
Writing in Vice, Nathaniel Janowitz describes the Melvin crime family this way.
The Melvins and the Marriotts have become synonymous with crime in Nova Scotia, and the root cause of the violence has long been a source of speculation for many in the eastern Canadian province. The media has often portrayed it as a battle for drug territory, however, inside information tells a different story—a tale of reputation and revenge.
Last September three members of the Melvin family were gunned down in two separate shootings.
Andrew Jason Hudder’s long criminal record dates back to at least 2014, the earliest case for which his name comes up on the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CANLII) court decisions database.
Saltwire News Network says Andrew Jason Hudder has
“28 previous criminal convictions – 15 in Nova Scotia and 13 in New Brunswick – and has served two federal prison terms. His earlier convictions include five for arson from a series of fire bombings in the Halifax area in 2006, 11 for break and enter, six for possession of stolen property, three for breaching court orders, and one each for dangerous driving, unlawfully being at large and possessing break-in instruments.”
Andrew Hudder’s latest conviction comes after a guilty plea on six criminal charges:
- breaching two firearm prohibitions imposed in November 2014 and June 2017;
- unauthorized possession of a restricted firearm in a motor vehicle;
- possession of a loaded, restricted firearm;
- refusing a breath demand; and
- dangerous driving.
Judge Aleta Cromwell sentenced five years, minus 13 months of remand credit, for a remaining term of three years and 11 months.
Judge Cromnell also imposed a lifetime Firearms Prohibition Order on Hudder (because the two previous FPOs were so effective at keeping him disarmed).
The Saltwire article quotes the judge heavily, some of which is reproduced below.
“Mr. Hudder does have a serious criminal history and the seriousness of these particular offences cannot be minimized,” Cromwell said, taking note of his two previous Firearm prohibition Orders.
“He was intoxicated behind the wheel with a firearm strapped to his chest, and he fled the scene when approached by the police and crashed his vehicle while driving recklessly on busy Halifax streets. His actions that day did cause immediate danger to the public.”
“I heard from Mr. Hudder, and he is genuine in his acceptance of responsibility and his remorse, and he acknowledges his issues with alcohol. These matters have been resolved at an early opportunity. Mr. Hudder was able to remain out of trouble and find employment and support his family until he began to struggle with alcohol in the fall of 2020 and into 2021.”
“I do not necessarily agree with the Crown’s suggestion that Mr. Hudder is firmly entrenched in a criminal lifestyle such that an exceptional sentence is needed, despite the firearm with the serial number scratched off, the location of the firearm – strapped to his chest – and comments from the Parole Board of Canada of Mr. Hudder’s association with a security threat group during his last period of federal incarceration.”
“The Crown had sought more than the five years, but certainly five years is no laughing matter,” said Crown prosecutor Sean McCarroll. “I think the judge gave him credit for comments that he made to the court that he is making efforts to turn his life around. I sincerely hope that that is the fact.”
I hope so too, because his willingness to violate multiple Firearm Prohibition Orders and the Parole Board’s negative assessment of him don’t fill me with confidence.