There's a story breaking tonight out of Killaloe, a community in Eastern Ontario.
It has absolutely nothing to do with Sault Ste. Marie, but it involves Canadian and U.S immigration officials and the OPP, and seeing as the Sault is a border community, we thought it raised some issues that might interest our readers.
The gist of the story is that two American bounty hunters are now facing kidnapping and forcible confinement charges in Canada after they came to Ontario and brought a bail-jumping convicted Ohio drug dealer wanted on charges of trafficking near a school back to his country to face justice.
They were stopped by U.S. Customs.
The end result: the kidnap victim, Kenneth Weckwerth, is being held on the U.S charges, but the bondsmen are themselves now facing a mess of serious criminal charges in Canada.
And, they're also facing up to a year's imprisonment in New York State after they admitted to trying to sneak their captive across the border,
Rodney Moore, a spokeperson for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, has told the Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland that the last similar case he remembers was in 1981.
The following news release was issued by the Ontario Provincial Police at 5:38 p.m. tonight:
*********************** OPP issues warrants in kidnapping of Golden Lake man
KILLALOE, ON, Nov. 30 - On November 18, 2004, the Ontario Provincial Police, Killaloe Detachment commenced an investigation into the kidnapping of a Killaloe/Golden Lake resident. The investigation revealed that on November 14, 2004 at approximately 5:30 p.m., two men removed a 60-year-old Canadian man from a residence in Golden Lake.
The individuals, American Bondsmen, drove the victim to the United States border crossing at Buffalo, New York.
When they attempted to cross the Canada-U.S. Border, the bondsman as well as the victim were stopped by U.S. officials and held in custody in Buffalo, New York
As a result of this investigation charged are Reginald Bailey, 43 of Cleveland, Ohio and Robert C. Roberts, 61 of Olon, Ohio.
A warrant for their arrest has been issued on charges of Break and Enter Contrary to Section 348(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada, Kidnapping with intent to cause him to be confined against his will Contrary to Section 279(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada, Kidnapping with the intent to be unlawfully transported out of Canada against his will Contrary to Section 279(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada, and Unlawful Confinement contrary to Section 279(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada. Investigators are currently in discussion with the Attorney Generals Office to begin extradition proceedings.
The victim is currently being held in regards to criminal charges in the United States.
The investigation is continuing by members of the East Region Crime Unit under the direction of Detective Inspector Jeff Bahm, Criminal Investigation Branch.