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Four arrested in case of Toronto teen who was found safe after March abduction


TORONTO — Four men have been charged in the case of a 14-year-old Toronto boy who was allegedly abducted over his stepbrother's criminal activity, police said Thursday as they appealed for help in tracking down a fifth suspect.

Toronto police said the arrests were made Tuesday and the suspects — all men between the ages of 25 and 38 — face a total of 26 charges between them.

The counts include kidnapping for ransom, forcible confinement, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and uttering threats.

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said officers are still seeking a fifth man, whose alleged role in the operation has not yet been determined. The force released a photo of the suspect Thursday and asked anyone with information on his whereabouts to come forward.

There may be more arrests and charges as the investigation continues, the chief told a Toronto news conference.

"What we're looking for are the people that orchestrated it, that ordered it, those that were actively involved in it, and those that were hiding the tracks behind it," Saunders said.

"So that's why I'm saying that there may be more arrests."

The teenage victim was nabbed off the street in early March, apparently in response to a multimillion-dollar cocaine heist by his stepbrother the previous summer.

The kidnapping lasted 36 hours and triggered an Amber Alert until the boy was found, dishevelled but otherwise healthy, in Brampton, Ont.

Police said the teen was not involved in any criminal activity.

The boy went missing around 8:30 a.m. on March 4, but his parents did not know their son hadn't made it to school that day because the school missed an absence-reporting deadline.

The police chief said Thursday the arrests were made during a series of searches that also led officers to seize a kilogram of cocaine, more than 31 kilograms of marijuana and roughly $130,000 in cash.

Saunders says another man arrested during the operation is not believed to be involved in the abduction but is facing four drug-related charges.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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