SQ arrests Orsainville inmates who escaped by helicopter

Three inmates who escaped a jail near Quebec City by helicopter have been arrested at a home in Montreal, Quebec provincial police say.

Yves Denis, 35, Denis Lefebvre, 53, and 49-year-old Serge Pomerleau escaped from Orsainville Detention Centre on June 7th, fleeing westbound in a green helicopter that had landed in the jail yard.

The three were arrested at 1:30 a.m. in Montreal, the Sûreté du Québec tweeted. The Sûreté du Québec accompanied by an Emergency Response Team apprehended the men.

They are due to appear in court Monday in Quebec City.

Further arrests in the case are likely, police say.

Other individuals helped the men escape from the facility, Sgt. Ronald McInnis told CBC News. The police are continuing their investigation to determine who aided the escape.

The three men were at Orsainville awaiting trial on charges of drug trafficking. They were also facing murder charges.

They were arrested in 2010 in a drug bust known as Project Crayfish.

The trio was classified under the tightest security measures available at the facility, but complained that these restrictions prevented them from properly preparing for their upcoming trial.

​A judge changed their conditions to include no handcuffs in court, more visitor hours, and permission for the three men to be in the jail yard simultaneously on weekdays, CBC News learned after challenging a publication ban along with La Presse.

Information from the trial judge Mr. Justice Louis Dionne's ruling also showed that provincial police suspected the inmates were plotting an escape and told Orsainville authorities.

Despite the men only being allowed to be present in the jail yard simultaneously on weekdays, they escaped on a Saturday evening.

A police source told Radio-Canada earlier in June that authorities knew one of the men, Lefebvre, was a pilot and owned helicopters. His son, Mazime Lefebvre, had his helicopter license.

After the escape, three facilities had air exclusion zones mandated. Quebec's public security minister, Lise Thériault, announced the new measures in late June.

The facilities are in Saint-Jérome, Rivière des Prairies, and Orsainville.

It is unclear how long these measures will be in place.

Orsainville had a temporary "no fly" zone for three days after the escape.

This was the second Quebec jailbreak by helicopter in two years.

In 2013, two inmates climbed a rope into a helicopter hovering over a jail in Saint-Jérôme in a brazen daytime escape. Police located both men about 50 kilometres north of the jail later that same day.

Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here. You DO NOT need to be a member to comment.

Share this article:

News Videos

Latest News

  • Laval man goes missing

    Police in Laval are asking for the public's help to find a missing 55 year old man. Read More
  • Canadian, Swede killed in avalanche

    Chilean searchers on Tuesday found the bodies of two foreign tourists who had been missing since an avalanche swept them away while they were hiking in the country's south. Read More