Police presence at Collins Bay Institution tied to contraband smuggling attempts

Kingston Police and Correctional Service Of Canada vehicles guard the perimeter around Collins Bay Penitentiary on Monday night.
Kingstonist file photo of Kingston Police and Correctional Service Of Canada vehicles guarding the perimeter around Collins Bay Penitentiary.

A large police presence on the grounds of Collins Bay Institution over the past two nights has been in relation to the seizure of packages containing contraband at the multi-level security prison – and a fleeing suspect.

Following reports of police activity on the grounds of Collins Bay Institution on the night of Thursday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 8, 2024, Kingstonist reached out to both Kingston Police and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) about the activity. Both authorities confirmed that no inmates had escaped from the facility.

Instead, correctional staff at Collins Bay Institution had seized packages on institutional property, believed to have ended up on the property by way of “throw over” – that is, someone or multiple people had thrown the packages over a fence or wall and onto federal property. CSC confirmed that two packages were seized at Collins Bay Institution, one on Wednesday night, and the other on Thursday night.

“In both cases, a suspicious person was seen on the property and the package was recovered by staff,” said Mike Shrider, Regional Communications Manager for CSC.

That’s where the police presence came in, Kingston Police confirmed on the morning of Friday, May 10, 2024. Area residents reported that police on the grounds of the prison appeared to be searching for something or someone, and Kingston Police said it was a case of the latter.

According to Constable Anthony Colangeli, on Thursday evening, an officer with Kingston Police engaged in a foot pursuit with a suspect on the grounds of Collins Bay Institution, however, that person “ran into the field” of the prison grounds. Colangeli said that the Kingston Police Canine Unit was brought to the scene, and a containment area was set up.

“However, these efforts yielded negative results,” Colangeli relayed to Kingstonist in an email.

Kingston Police were not able to say what caused the initial foot pursuit, and CSC is still collecting information on the packages seized at Collins Bay Institution. While the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were also involved in the efforts, it is unclear which OPP detachment was called in as of time of publication.

CSC is expected to release further information later today or on Monday, May 13, 2024. It is unclear whether further information will be released by Kingston Police or the OPP.

Since the beginning of 2024, federal prisons in the Kingston area have seen a notable uptick in reported seizures of contraband on prison property, many as the result of suspect drone drops. Kingstonist spoke with CSC about this increased activity in March. As of Friday, May 10, 2024, there have been 10 reported such seizures at Collins Bay Institution, 15 at Joyceville Institution, and two at Millhaven Institution in Bath.

Kingstonist will provide updated coverage of the incidents this week at Collins Bay Institution if/when more information becomes available.

Leave a Reply

You cannot copy content from this page, please share the link instead!