Fugitive Caught at Airport

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 12:30 p.m. August 16, 2017

An American fugitive on the run for the last four years has been captured by the Toronto Police Fugitive Squad.

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Christopher McCleary, 49, was arrested by the Toronto Fugitive Squad. He is wanted by Buffalo Police Department for weapons possession

Christopher McCleary, 49, was arrested without incident at Toronto  Pearson International Airport on August 15 as he was about to board a flight to Edmonton.

During a traffic stop by Buffalo Police on January 23, 2013, a loaded sawed-off shotgun, a loaded revolver and two loaded pistols were allegedly seized inside a vehicle McCleary was in with four other men.

He fled after posting bail and was on Buffalo Police’s Ten Most Wanted list.

Detective Sergeant Wayne Banks said McCleary appeared on his radar a few weeks ago when the United States Marshals Service contacted his office.

“There was some information that he might be in Edmonton or Toronto and we started doing our regular investigative work,” said Banks, noting they verified the man was in the city using security video.

The Toronto Police stepped up its investigation and nabbed McCleary just before he boarded a flight.

“He was arrested without incident,” said Banks. “I don’t think he had any idea he was being followed so, when our guys showed up with members of the Peel Police assigned to the airport and produced badges, he knew his run was over.

“…We have a great working relationship with the U.S. Marshals and are happy to step up and help whenever called upon. We also worked closely with Edmonton and Peel Police on this case. It was just very good teamwork all round that led to this capture.”

McCleary was wanted on a Canada-wide immigration warrant for being criminally inadmissible to this country. He is also wanted in the United States for four counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and bail jumping in the second degree.

He will be held in custody in Canada pending extradition to the United States.

McCleary has a right to waive or fight extradition. If he fights it, he will be given a hearing.

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