Canada recaptures escaped Quebec inmates

Police say three men who escaped from Quebec prison by helicopter on June 7, recaptured in a Montreal condominium.

Last updated: 22 Jun 2014 18:28
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Yves Denis, Serge Pomerleau, and Denis Lefebvre in undated police handout photos [AP/Interpol]

Three men who escaped by helicopter from a Canadian prison two weeks ago were captured at a Montreal residence, Quebec provincial police said.

The fugitives were arrested by police investigators on Sunday, accompanied by SWAT team members, at around 1:30 a.m. at a condominium building in Old Montreal, police said.

Quebec police Audrey-Anne Bilodeau said that further arrests in the case are likely as the investigation into the June 7 escape continues.

"It could be a person who helped them escape from prison or a person who helped them hide from us," Bilodeau said.

Police did not discuss further details about how they found the fugitives - Yves Denis, 35, Denis Lefebvre, 53, and Serge Pomerleau, 49.

The three men are due in court in Quebec City on Monday.

International manhunt

They were originally arrested as part of Operation Crayfish in 2010, which dismantled a network of drug traffickers, and were awaiting trial on charges that included gangsterism and murder.

A helicopter plucked them from a courtyard of the Orsainville Detention Centre in suburban Quebec City, triggering an international manhunt. Interpol placed them on its list of the world's most wanted fugitives.

Shortly after the daring breakout it was revealed that a judge had granted the three inmates looser restrictions the day before they escaped, including the possibility they no longer be obliged to wear handcuffs.

Quebec's Deputy Premier Lise Theriault has said she does not know why the judge agreed to the request. The provincial government has ordered an internal investigation into the jailbreak.

The administrative probe will also examine a similar escape from another Quebec prison last year.

In March 2013, two inmates escaped after grabbing onto a rope dropped from a helicopter at the St Jerome detention center, but they were quickly recaptured.


Associated Press
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