Additional charges laid following drone interception at Collins Bay Institution

A drone seized by the Joint Forces Penitentiary Squad near Collins Bay Institution. Photo via OPP.
Just some of the contraband seized on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 after a package was intercepted at Collins Bay Institution. The package included tobacco, cannabis, heroin, and fentanyl. Photo by Cris Vilela.

After authorities successfully intercepted a shipment of contraband at Collins Bay Institution, the Ontario Provincial Police held a press conference at the Institution. on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 to disclose what contraband was seized, as well as subsequent arrests and charges.

The shipment of contraband was intercepted on at approximately 3 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, after members of the Joint Forces Penitentiary Squad, Kingston Police, and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) responded to a report of suspicious activity near Collins Bay Institution. On that day, officers arrested two men from Mississauga, and located a drone near the facility. A package containing contraband was located within the walls of the penitentiary.

Today, The OPP-led Joint Forces Penitentiary Squad under the direction of Detective Inspector Jim Gorry of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch announced an additional arrest and further charges laid as a result of the investigation.

The two men from Mississauga – Justin Paul Hurlbut, 35, and Michael Habib, 33 – were originally charged under the Criminal Code with conspiracy to commit and indictable offence. The have both now also been charged with:

  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence of mischief
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence – trafficking fentanyl
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence – trafficking heroin
  • Participation in a criminal organization
  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking – heroin
  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking – fentanyl
  • Possession for the purpose of distribution – cannabis

Additionally, the OPP-led Joint Forces Penitentiary Squad has now arrested and charged Rene Christopher Pearle, 45, an inmate at Collins Bay Institution, with:

  • Five counts of possession of contraband
  • Participation in a criminal organization
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence of mischief
  • Possession for the purpose of distributing – cannabis

During the course of the investigation, officers seized:

  • A drone and multiple controllers
  • Multiple bales of tobacco
  • Cellphone
  • Quantities of heroin, fentanyl, and cannabis

According to CSC, the contraband and unauthorized items seized included 5.5 grams of heroin, 600 grams of marijuana, 11 bales of tobacco and one cellphone.The total estimated institutional value of this seizure is $75,000.

The investigation remains ongoing.

A display of all of the items seized as a result of the intercepted contraband at Collins Bay Institution on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Photo by Cris Vilela.
Some of the drone equipment seized, which was located near Collins Bay Institution on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Photo via OPP.
Image of the heroin seized as a result of the intercepted contraband. Photo by Cris Vilela.
Drone equipment seized near Collins Bay Institution on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Photo by Cris Vilela.
More images of contraband intercepted at Collins Bay Institution on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Photo by Cris Vilela.
Cannabis seized as a result of the package of contraband intercepted at Collins Bay Institution on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Photo via OPP.
Bottle of cannabis seized after a package of contraband was intercepted at Collins Bay Institution on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Photo via OPP.
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