Montreal police have arrested a most wanted criminal who managed to evade capture by U.S. police forces for over 10 years. CBC News reports that bicycle-riding officers captured Katay-Khaophone Sychanta on Aug. 23, who is suspected of a being a drug smuggling kingpin.
The dual Laos-Canadian citizen was sited by police and chased to Bois-Franc train station, where one of the officers pursued the suspected felon on foot.
Sychanta’s pursuers weren’t even aware of their catch; they were pursuing him as well as a second man because they believed the pair were possession of illegal drugs. Though police say Sychanta provided phony U.S. papers, his real identity surfaced when he was fingerprinted.
“Luckily, with the identification we were able to locate a man that was wanted for three years,” said Montreal police spokesperson Const. Jean-Pierre Brabant.
Sychanta has the dubious distinction of being one of the 10 most wanted on the Department of Homeland Security’s exclusive list of criminals.
The accused first ran afoul of U.S. law in 2005 and was indicted for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. But Sychanta fled to Windsor, Ontario, where, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities contend he remained the boss of a drug smuggling racket.
Considered violent, ICE also maintains that the criminal dealt in massive amounts of ecstasy pills, providing millions of other illicit drugs to stateside markets in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Georgia and New York. ICE say he also dealt in large-scale marijuana shipments and brought guns, cocaine, and heroin into Canada from the U.S.
Sychanta was in court last Thursday. So far he has only been charged with possession, obstructing police, and presenting forged ID.
But he is being transferred to the Ontario Provincial Police and could face extradition to the U.S.