Fugitive Located In West Nipissing

(BANCROFT, ON) – An accused person, wanted in connection with an incident nearly two decades ago near Bancroft, has been arrested in northeastern Ontario.

On June 2, 2001 members of the Bancroft Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) executed a series of search warrants at a home on Mooney Road in Hastings Highlands. Investigators seized more than 200 cannabis plants and located equipment associated with an extensive indoor growing operation. Officers also recovered suspected methamphetamine, a loaded firearm as well as nearly two dozen pit bull dogs from the residence.

An arrest warrant was issued in 2001 and it was determined that the individual was also wanted by police in the State of Texas. Since that time, the OPP and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have been working jointly to locate the accused.

On June 11th, 2020 at approximately 6:30 a.m., investigators from the West Nipissing and Bancroft OPP Detachments, the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT), OPP Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), OPP Canine Unit and CBSA investigators attended a residence on Millrand Road in the Municipality of West Nipissing (Verner). One person was arrested without incident.

Joe Dan BATES, age 64, a United States of American national, who was located in West Nipissing, Ontario has been arrested on charges of:

  • Careless use of a firearm, weapon, device or ammunition – Criminal Code sec. 86(1)
  • Production of a Schedule 2 substance – Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) sec. 7(1)
  • Possession for the purpose of a Schedule 2 substance over 3 kgs – CDSA sec. 5(2)

The investigation is continuing. Once Canadian criminal proceedings are completed, the accused will be turned over to the CBSA to be processed under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The accused has been remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear for a bail hearing by video before the Ontario Court of Justice in Belleville on June 18, 2020