HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html OPP Set To Charge Bounty Hunters
Pubdate: Tue, 30 Nov 2004
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Greg McArthur, The Ottawa Citizen


Attorney General Asked To Start Extradition Process

The two U.S. bounty hunters who allegedly grabbed a man from his 
girlfriend's house in the village of Golden Lake will be charged with 
kidnapping today by the Ontario Provincial Police.

Ohio bail bondsmen Reginald Bailey, 43, and Robert Carden Roberts, 61 have 
already pleaded guilty in a U.S. courtroom to trying to smuggle Kenny 
Weckwerth, 60, across the border and are free on bail in the U.S.

Now, the OPP will ask the federal attorney general's office to begin the 
extradition process, and force the bounty hunters to answer to charges - 
kidnapping, forcible confinement and break and enter with intent -- in a 
Canadian courtroom.

Det. Insp. Jeff Bahm said he doesn't know whether the attorney general's 
office will want to devote the time to extradite the two manhunters, but 
the police force couldn't ignore the tactics the men used to snatch Mr. 

Mr. Bailey and Mr. Roberts won't likely turn themselves in, so the OPP will 
have to rely on their American counterparts to enforce their arrest 
warrant, he said. The two men are supposed to be sentenced on the smuggling 
charges in February, so that would be the best chance to arrest them, Det. 
Insp. Bahm said.

"The American government has to make the decision -- if it will go along 
with the treaty it signed," Det. Insp. Bahm said, referring to the 1988 
'memorandum of understanding' that was signed by the state departments of 
both countries. The official document, signed by then cabinet minister Joe 
Clark and U.S. secretary of state George Shultz, declared it an 
extraditable offence for so-called bounty hunters to cross the border and 
abduct citizens.

Mr. Bailey and Mr. Roberts canvassed Eganville and the nearby village of 
Golden Lake with a picture of Mr. Weckwerth on Nov. 14, eventually tracking 
him to his girlfriend's house on an Algonquin First Nation's reserve.

They handcuffed Mr. Weckwerth, grabbed his cigarettes, asthma puffer, watch 
and gold chain, and drove for the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls, said his 
girlfriend, Madeline Granzie.

Mr. Weckwerth was wanted because he skipped out on a court hearing in Ohio, 
where the drifter and guitar player had lived before he was deported on 
past drug convictions.

In the U.S., accused criminals can hire bail bond companies to put up 
thousands of dollars in bond money in order to receive bail. The companies 
get the money back, as long as the accused continues to attend court. When 
the accused flees, the companies can lose thousands -- unless their bounty 
hunters track them down.

But this time, the hunters had federal agents to contend with at the 
border, and Mr. Weckwerth was not allowed into the country.

Since U.S. federal agents arrested the bounty hunters at the Rainbow Bridge 
in Niagara Falls, Mr. Weckwerth has been returned to Canada. Reached last 
night, his girlfriend said she believed he was still being detained at the 
West Toronto Detention Centre. 
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