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Escapees in Canadian helicopter jailbreak captured

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QUEBEC CITY, Quebec — Remember those three Canadian prisoners who flew to freedom a few weeks ago aboard a helicopter that swooped in to pluck them from the courtyard of the jail where they were being held?

Well, they apparently didn’t fly far enough. Quebec police arrested the trio early Sunday, and they’re right back where they started, at the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City.

“The prisoners were arrested at 1:30 in the morning in Montreal. The SWAT team made the arrest and those three people will appear in court … Monday in Quebec City,” Quebec police spokesman Sgt. Ronald Mc Innis told CNN.

He declined to say any more about the arrest as the investigation is continuing.

The helicopter’s pilot hasn’t yet been caught, according to police, but more arrests are expected, Mc Innis said.

Yves Denis, 35, Denis Lefebvre, 53, and Serge Pomerleau, 49, escaped June 7.

Denis and Lefebvre were awaiting trial on charges stemming from a 2010 drug bust that netted weapons, cars and a plane. Officials didn’t release any information about Pomerleau.

Helicopter escapes aren’t common, but they’re not unheard of, either.

In March 2013, two men posing as tourists commandeered a helicopter from a Canadian tour company, ordered the pilot to fly over a detention center near Montreal, hoisted two inmates into the hovering aircraft using cables — and zipped away.

A Greek prison inmate escaped by helicopter in 2006 and did it again in 2009. Another inmate tried the same trick last year, but was shot.

In 1971, Joel David Kaplan escaped from a Mexican jail aboard a helicopter. That escape inspired a book and a movie.