Fugitive dubbed 'pilot to the stars' likely hiding in northern Quebec: police

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MONTREAL — Police say a man convicted of an aerial attack on Hydro-Quebec power lines and who has evaded authorities for a week could be hiding out in the province's north.

Provincial police added Normand Dube to their most wanted list on Wednesday; an arrest warrant was issued for him last week.

Dube, who is described in local media as the "pilot to the stars" because of his earlier job transporting Quebec celebrities in his plane, allegedly failed to report to a detention centre last week after Quebec's highest court revoked his bail.

He is appealing a pair of convictions, including for an aerial attack on Hydro-Quebec power lines in 2014. Dube was sentenced in 2018 to seven years in prison for the attack carried out using his small plane, which cost the public utility $28.6 million and plunged 180,000 people into darkness.

He was also found guilty of arson and of making threats against civil servants in a separate case.

Dube, 58, was appealing both guilty verdicts and had been granted bail with strict conditions that included detailing his movements to provincial police and respecting a curfew.

On Dec. 14, a Quebec Court of Appeal judge revoked his bail, ordering him to present to a detention centre for failing to abide by conditions.

Police say they collected evidence indicating Dube is likely hiding out in a lodge typically used for hunting and fishing.

"Information leads us to believe that Normand Dube could be found in ... northern Quebec," the force said in a notice posted to its website of most wanted criminals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 23, 2020.

The Canadian Press