POLITICS

Police make second arrest after shooting along the Canada-U.S. border

04/03/2013 02:23 EDT | Updated 06/03/2013 05:12 EDT
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - A suspect who set off a manhunt on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border over his alleged involvement in a shooting- and drug-smuggling incident is now in custody following a raid on a home in Abbotsford, B.C.

Members of the Abbotsford Police Department's emergency response team and regular patrol officers arrested the suspect at a local residence shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The takedown came less than 24 hours after one of two men fired on U.S. border agents just a few kilometres from the Huntingdon border crossing in B.C.'s Fraser Valley.

American authorities said the men were spotted in a forested area known as a drug-smuggling corridor.

One suspect was arrested quickly and U.S. border agents later found two backpacks containing about 26 kilograms of an amphetamine-based product.

The second suspect fled into the bush, sparking the international, cross-border manhunt.

"He's Canadian, in fact, he is an individual who is known to police and has been a recent resident of both the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland," said Const. Ian MacDonald, of the Abbotsford Police Department.

MacDonald declined to name the suspect or explain how police tracked him down because authorities on both sides of the border are continuing their investigations.

But officers were diligent and proactive in their search, he added.

"We were changing tactics throughout the day, so we went from static deployments and roadblocks to active searching through the bush area and up the mountain side, and we realized we would have to be pretty nimble, especially in the hours after dark," said MacDonald.

He couldn't say if the man would face charges in Canada or in the United States.

"Having the fugitive in custody and then worrying about where and when he'll face charges can be a secondary concern to public safety," said MacDonald.

"Now that we have brought public safety resolution to this international incident, we will have time to consult to determine how the criminal and court process will proceed."

John Bates, the Blaine, Wash., sector chief for the U.S. Border Patrol, thanked his colleagues in both countries for their work.

"This incident is a perfect example of the binational law enforcement partnerships, dedication and support required on a daily basis in securing our nation’s borders and local communities," said Bates in a media release.

The incident began Tuesday at 9:10 a.m., when U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered two individuals who were dressed in camouflage and carrying backpacks.

After the second man fled into the bush, authorities on both sides of the border set up patrols and road blocks and had helicopters scouring the area.

(With files from AP)

-- by Keven Drews and Terri Theodore in Vancouver