Canada prison break: helicopter escapees found and return to prison after daring breakout

The three men, whose daring escape from a helicopter has still not been fully explained and had been placed on the highest level of alert possible by Interpol, were caught on Sunday morning and returned to prison

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The Independent US

The three inmates with links to the Hells Angels that used a helicopter to escape from a Quebec prison earlier this month have been apprehended, and are awaiting court hearings at the prison where their spectacular escape began.

Quebec police arrested the three on Sunday morning, and they have been moved back to the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City. The anonymous pilot that picked the trio up is yet to be caught, though police said they were confident that they would make further arrests.

"The prisoners were arrested at 1:30 in the morning in Montreal. The SWAT team made the arrest and those three people will appear in court [on] Monday in Quebec City," Quebec police spokesman Ronald McInnis told CNN. The men are thought to have been hiding in an upscale flat in old Montreal, another city in Quebec, and were arrested by the Quebec police and tactical armed officers.

The three men broke out of the prison on June 7, when a helicopter landed in the jail yard and took the men. Since then the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) had placed the notice about the men at the highest level, red. The escape has become a charged politican event for Quebec's new government, with opposition politicians demanding the resignation of the security minister.

The three men — Yves Denis, 35; Denis Lefebvre, 52; and Serge Pomerleau — had been held in highest possible security but were allowed into the prison’s yard together on court days so that they could plan their defense, according to local news reports. But the three men escaped on a Saturday night when there was no court proceeding, and the circumstances of their breakout remain unclear.

According to Radio Canada, one of the men, Lefebvre, had a flying license and owned helicopters. Lefebvre's son is also thought to have a pilot's license.

The three prisoners (left to right) Denis Lefebvre, Yves Denis and Serge Pomerleau fled in the remarkable breakout

It was the second dramatic prison escape in Quebec in nearly a year. Prisoners escaped from a different Quebec prison in March 2013 after being hoisted away in a helicopter, which officials said was a first in the region. The two escapees were found within hours, along with two people suspected of arranging the escape.

Two of the men were awaiting trial after being arrested in a 2010 drug bust. The charges against them included murder, according to Interpol.