Escapees in Canadian helicopter jailbreak captured
(CNN) — Remember those three Canadian prisoners who flew to freedom a few weeks ago after a daring helicopter escape?
Well, they apparently didn’t fly far enough. Quebec police arrested the trio early Sunday, and they’re right back where they started, at the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City.
“The prisoners were arrested at 1:30 in the morning in Montreal. The SWAT team made the arrest and those three people will appear in court … Monday in Quebec City,” Quebec police spokesman Sgt. Ronald Mc Innis told CNN.
He declined to say any more about the arrest as the investigation is continuing.
The helicopter’s pilot hasn’t yet been caught, according to police, but more arrests are expected, Mc Innis said.
Yves Denis, 35, Denis Lefebvre, 53, and Serge Pomerleau, 49, escaped June 7.
Denis and Lefebvre were awaiting trial on charges stemming from a 2010 drug bust that netted weapons, cars and a plane. Officials didn’t release any information about Pomerleau. The charges against them included murder, according to CNN partner CBC.
They were being held under tight security, but a judge had issued a ruling allowing the three of them to be in the courtyard at the same time on court days, after they complained harsh security conditions were making it difficult to plan their defense, the CBC reported last week.
The three, however, escaped on a Saturday. It was unclear who allowed them to go outside, the CBC reported.
Helicopter escapes aren’t common, but they’re not unheard of, either.
In March 2013, two men posing as tourists commandeered a helicopter from a Canadian tour company, ordered the pilot to fly over a detention center near Montreal, hoisted two inmates into the hovering aircraft using cables — and zipped away.
A Greek prison inmate escaped by helicopter in 2006 and did it again in 2009. Another inmate tried the same trick last year, but was shot.
In 1971, Joel David Kaplan escaped from a Mexican jail aboard a helicopter. That escape inspired a book and a movie.
By Michael Pearson
CNN’s Carma Hassan, Faith Karimi, Suzanne Presto and Holly Yan contributed to this report