Helicopter Used In Quebec Jail Break (Updated)

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For the second time in a little more than a year, a helicopter has been used to help alleged organized crime members escape from prison in the Canadian province of Quebec. Three inmates were plucked from the Orsainville Detention Centre about eight miles northeast of Quebec City Saturday evening by what Quebec Provincial Police say was a green helicopter. As of late Sunday, neither the helicopter nor the escapees had been found and it wasn't clear whether the helicopter had been hijacked or whether it was flown by those involved in the escape. The helicopter, with its three career criminals aboard, was last seen heading west. The caper unfolded about 7:45 p.m. local time. Details of the escape have not been released and the QPP went to Twitter to try to alert the public and warn them against trying to be heroes. The inmates, Yves Denis, Denis Lefebvre and Serge Pomerleau, were awaiting trial after being arrested in a major police organized crime sting that netted, among the guns, money and drugs and other things associated with the trade, a helicopter and fixed wing aircraft. Although the details were sketchy as the manhunt got underway, the escape was reminiscent of one that occurred near Montreal in March of 2013.

In that incident, a charter pilot was forced at gunpoint to hover over the outside recreation area of the St. Jerome prison while ropes were lowered and two crime syndicate members were plucked out of the compound. They were arrested a couple of hours later but in that case, the escape was engineered earlier in the day and the escapees, and their accomplices who hijacked the helicopter, were captured about 30 miles from the prison. The pilot was a French national working for a local charter company and suffered long-lasting effects from the incident.