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Quebec couple arrested after drone drop attempts at Collins Bay Institution

A couple from Quebec are facing multiple charges after a number of law enforcement service members came together to track and arrest the pair, who were attempting to drop prohibited items onto the property of Collins Bay Institution by drone.

According to Kingston Police, the events surrounding the arrest began at approximately 1:10 p.m. on Friday, Jun. 11, 2021, when an off-duty member of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-led Joint Forces Penitentiary Squad happened to observe suspicious activity in the area of Collins Bay Institution on Front Road. The officer contacted the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), who responded, and a male and female fled the area in a vehicle.

The off-duty officer located the vehicle the suspects had been driving – unoccupied – a short while later, and Kingston Police were requested to collaborate in monitoring the vehicle in an effort to locate and arrest the pair for the earlier activities.

Later in the day, a drone was spotted a second time, when employees of a business in the area near Collins Bay Institution reported suspicious activity on their property, Kingston Police said in a press release on Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2021. While attempting to detain the male, staff members from the local business were threatened by his female accomplice. The pair then fled that location in the same vehicle that had been seen near the institution earlier in the day.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., Kingston Police officers on patrol located the vehicle back at the second location it was observed at earlier in the day, and the two individuals were arrested. They attended a bail hearing the following day, where they were remanded into custody pending their next court appearance.

The Kingston Police Street Crime Unit continued investigating, executing a search warrant on both a vehicle and address, which resulted in the seizure of two drones values at $16,000 (total), and various contraband items that were packaged to be dropped inside the walls of Collins Bay Institution. According to police, the combined value of the contraband items is approximately $23,000. The vehicle used by the accused parties was seized and will be applied before the courts to be designated and forfeited as offence-related property, Kingston Police said.

Maude Vanden Abeele, 21, of Montreal was charged with:

  • Three counts of assault with a weapon
  • Possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace
  • Two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon without authorization
  • Two counts of mischief for attempting to deliver a contraband package into a Federal Institution
  • Two counts of breach of probation

Francis Larviere-Isabelle, 38, of Montreal was charged with:

  • Two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon without authorization
  • Two counts of breach of weapons prohibition
  • Two counts of mischief for attempting to deliver a contraband package into a Federal Institution

“The Kingston Police, the Penitentiary Squad and Security Intelligence Officers at Collins Bay Institution would like to thank the members of the public who assisted in this joint forces investigation,” Kingston Police said.

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