TORONTO – Canadian police officers on bicycles chased down and caught a Laotian-born alleged drug smuggler who is on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's list of 10 most wanted suspects, authorities said Tuesday.
Montreal police Commander Miguel Alston said Katay-Khaophone Sychanta, 35, was on a park bench preparing to smoke a marijuana joint with another man when police approached and questioned him last week.
Alston said the officers were not satisfied with his answers after he produced identification that turned out to be a fake driver's license from Maryland.
Alston said Sychanta tried to flee on foot along a bike path, but officers caught him and arrested him for suspected drug possession. Fingerprint checks revealed his identity.
Sychanta was arraigned Thursday on charges of drug possession, obstructing the work of police and possessing false documents. It was not immediately clear who might be representing the suspect, and police did not immediately respond to a request for the name of his lawyer.
Sychanta faces drug charges in Ontario in addition to those in the United States.
He was first indicted in 2005 in Michigan. According to ICE, he evaded capture on drug charges in the United States and continued to supervise a drug-smuggling organization based near Windsor, Ontario.
ICE said he has a history of violence and has allegedly made threats against Homeland Security Investigations unit agents and other law enforcement officials. They had been offering a $25,000 reward for his capture.
"The officers did a great job in pushing the investigation," Alston said. "They had a feeling he was not who he said he was."