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Manhunt for four 'dangerous' suspects in northern Ont. ends with drug-related charges


After a vehicle failed to stop for police in Kirkland Lake, Ont., a massive search for four suspects ended with arrests more than 200 kilometres away in Field.

The wild chase began shortly after 11 p.m. March 28 when officers with the Kirkland Lake detachment tried to pull over a speeding vehicle, Ontario Provincial Police said in a news release Tuesday.

When that was unsuccessful, the Nipissing West detachment was notified.

The red 2014 Jeep Cherokee fled south down Highway 11 then Highway 64 with four occupants, OPP Const. Phil Young told in a phone interview on Monday.

A spike belt was deployed on Highway 64 in Field shortly before 2 a.m. Friday.

After driving over the tire deflation device, three passengers got out when the vehicle came safely to a stop and fled into the woods.

Meanwhile, officers arrested the driver, a 31-year-old man from Whitby, and charged him with dangerous operation.

Police drones were deployed to find the three suspects, followed by the canine unit and eventually the emergency response team and OPP helicopter.

A Tweet advising motorists not to pick up anyone in the Muskosung Lake area was posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, shortly after 5 a.m.

Several residents CTV News spoke to confirmed the heavy police presence and said officers told them to stay inside while they searched for "dangerous suspects."

Tactical officer searching property off Highway 575 in Field, Ont., for 'dangerous suspects' March 29, 2024

Three men -- two from Toronto and one from Loyalist Township -- were found hiding in a cabin, OPP said.

They were all charged with breaking and entering.

OPP helicopter searching for suspects in Field, Ont. March 29, 2024

All four suspects from southern Ont. are also charged with drug trafficking cocaine and three charged possession of property obtained by crime more than $5,000.

OPP Const. Rob Lewis told CTV News in a phone interview more than 90 grams of cocaine was seized along with an undisclosed amount of cash following a search of the suspects and vehicle.

Lewis clarified a female driver who was initially thought of as a suspect wasn't involved in the incident, but she was stopped by police for driving on the closed road.

She was not charged, as the officers were more concerned with finding the three men who had fled.

Cocaine and cash seized by OPP in Field, Ont. March 29, 2024 (Ontario Provincial Police)

Just after 11 a.m., OPP said it concluded its investigation and was clearing the area.

Heavy police presence in Field, Ont., searching for 'dangerous suspects' March 29, 2024

The four accused, ages 22 to 31, have been held for bail court and are scheduled to appear in court in North Bay on Tuesday.

Map of the search area in Field, Ont., March 29, 2024 (Ontario Provincial Police)


Two pieces of information provided by OPP Const. Phil Young to CTV News on Monday have been corrected in a news release Tuesday. The time the "chase" started and the spike belt deployed in West Nipissing was successful in stopping the vehicle. Top Stories

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