RCMP hunt for suspect who escaped custody after fiery cocaine bust off N.S. coast

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Officers photographed what is believed to be over a half tonne of cocaine seized from a sailboat off N.S. (Quebec RCMP - image credit)
Officers photographed what is believed to be over a half tonne of cocaine seized from a sailboat off N.S. (Quebec RCMP - image credit)

RCMP are searching for a man who escaped custody from a Dartmouth, N.S., hospital after being arrested in connection with a drug bust off the province's coast.

Karin Marley Simons, 32, of Antigua was one of two men charged after Quebec RCMP and the Canadian Coast Guard seized 556 kilograms of what they suspect to be cocaine from a burning sailboat on Aug. 29.

RCMP said in a Sept. 2 news release that police and the coast guard were tipped off to a suspicious boat.

A sailboat matching the description was located off Nova Scotia, but as officers approached, they saw smoke coming from the boat and a rapidly spreading fire.

Quebec RCMP
Quebec RCMP

Two people who were aboard the boat were taken into custody on a coast guard vessel. RCMP officers seized packages floating in the sailboat's cabin believed to contain cocaine, said the news release.

Simons and Aleck Villeneuve, 38, of Kelowna, B.C., have been charged with conspiracy to import narcotics. Villeneuve also faces charges of importing cocaine and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

RCMP said Simons escaped custody Aug. 30 after being taken to Dartmouth General Hospital for an assessment.

He is described as a Black man, five feet nine inches, with black hair in dreadlocks and dark brown eyes. He was barefoot when he was last seen and wearing black shorts.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Simons is asked to contact RCMP at 1-800-803-7267 or Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.

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