OPP Drug Raid Results in Arrest of American Wanted for 20 Years


BANCROFT – The RCMP reportedly always “get their man”. The OPP likely could be claiming that too, an accused person, wanted in connection with an incident nearly twenty years ago near Bancroft, has been arrested in northeastern Ontario.

OPP report that on June 2, 2001 members of the Bancroft Detachment executed a series of search warrants at a home on Mooney Road in Hastings Highlands.

During that raid, OPP 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 bulldogs from the residence.

The first 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 America 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.

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