$250,000 reward announced for escaped mob leader behind Toronto and B.C. murders
OTTAWA — The federal government has pledged $250,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a notorious escaped prisoner facing 18 federal charges, including murder and extortion.
Robert “R” Baptiste (C) and his partner David “Billy” Bailhache were both sentenced to life and hard time for the 1982 slayings of Robert Pickton and Andrew Korte, which also killed B.C. Provincial Constable Danforth and Mountie Dave Flett.
A pair of Canadian-American brothers were sentenced to 20 years each in a federal court today for orchestrating the murders of the two Toronto police officers, but a third brother, Michael Baptiste, pleaded guilty to a single charge.
Michael Baptiste entered a guilty plea in front of Justice Mark W. Charland of the Federal Court of Canada.
He was charged under the Criminal Code for committing an offence under Part III — Extortion.
“We are glad that these men are now behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney David Hickton. “We will continue to use our investigative resources to seek to find out who is providing the most significant assistance to them as they seek to evade justice.”
Toronto Police Det.-Const. Daniel Ronson would become the fourth Toronto police officer killed in the line of duty this year, and his death marked another one of many at the hands of gangland assassins.
The case and the investigation by the Bureau of Investigation into the 1985 murder of Toronto Police Officer Mark Chiu opened the door to the current case involving Baptiste.
The reward is the largest ever offered in Canada for the capture and conviction of fugitive killers, said Federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.
“The actions of Robert Baptiste and David Baptiste have been a tragedy for the community of Toronto. These men are responsible for the lives of four, and they should be punished.”
The case, now headed by the RCMP, began as an investigation into the 1985 disappearance of Chiu.
The FBI launched a parallel investigation into the murders of two Toronto police officers and the extortion of police officers in the community. In 2007, FBI Agent Greg Koulkouris filed a criminal