Suspect apprehended after suspected drone drop at Collins Bay Institution

Kingstonist file photo.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-led Joint Forces Penitentiary Squad has seized a drone and arrested one person after intercepting a shipment of contraband at Collins Bay Institution in Kingston.

Shortly after 9 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 24, 2022, members of the Penitentiary Squad, Kingston Police and Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) responded when a drone was seen near the penitentiary. According to a release from the OPP, officers located a drone and a package of contraband near the facility and arrested one person in a parked vehicle in the area.

Staff members at Collins Bay Institution also seized a package inside the multi-level federal facility which contained contraband and unauthorized items, according to the CSC. The seized items included 550 grams of tobacco, 225 grams of cannabis, as well as cannabis products and numerous cell phones.

OPP said that the total institutional value of the seizure is over $286,000, and the value of the drone and other equipment is estimated near $20,000.

Eric Lefrancois, age 42 of Sainte-Marguerite-Du-Lac-Masson, Quebec is charged under the Criminal Code (CC) with:

  • Mischief
  • Obstructing a Peace Officer

Lefrancois has been released and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston in May 2022.

The investigation by members of the OPP-led Joint-Forces Penitentiary Squad, which includes the Kingston Police and CSC, under the direction of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch, is ongoing.

“The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) uses a number of tools to prevent drugs from entering its institutions. These tools include ion scanners and detector dogs to search buildings, personal property, inmates, and visitors,” CSC said in a press release on Friday, Mar. 25, 2022.

CSC also relayed that it has set up a telephone tip line for all federal institutions so that it may receive additional information about activities relating to security at CSC institutions, such as those related to drug use or trafficking that may threaten the safety and security of visitors, inmates, and staff members working at CSC institutions. The toll-free number, 1-866-780-3784, helps ensure that the information shared is protected and that callers remain anonymous.

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