News Provincial

Brian Quesnel, accused in death of Orillia man, arrested Friday in Quebec

By Patrick Bales, The Orillia Packet & Times

Brian Quesnel

Brian Quesnel

The third person wanted in connection with the death Joseph Simonds was arrested Friday in Quebec.

Brian Quesnel, 28, was arrested “without incident,” police said.

“The public can rest easy that the individual is in custody,” said OPP Acting Sgt. Peter Leon. “When something like this happens in a community, it's a very disturbing occurrence. But I think it's important that the people of Orillia can certainly feel a little safer tonight knowing that this individual has been apprehended.”

A Canada-wide warrant was issued for Quesnel on a first-degree murder charge June 10.

Quesnel is set to be taken back to Ontario and appear in Barrie court for a bail hearing. As for when that will happen, those arrangements continue to be made, Leon said. While possible the process could be expedited over the weekend, due to the severity of the charges, Leon didn't expect Quesnel to be in the province until early next week.

Quesnel was located Thursday in Sainte-Barbe, Que., the same town where one of the other suspects, Martin Forget, was from.

Leon couldn't elaborate on how Quesnel was located, but he highlighted the importance of spreading the word about the homicide and the partnership between law-enforcement agencies in both provinces.

“There was very, very significant media assistance right across all parts of the province with respect to this ongoing investigation,” Leon said. “The OPP worked very closely with our counterparts in the Quebec provincial police (Sûreté du Québec).”

The OPP East Region Regional Support Team, Sûreté du Québec Homicide Unit, Tactical Unit, Canine Unit and Physical Surveillance Unit were all involved in getting Quesnel into custody, a news release stated.

Simonds, 34, was gunned down June 4 outside 282 Franklin St. in Orillia. Police found Simonds after being alerted to a shooting at around 4 a.m. He was later pronounced dead in hospital.

A postmortem has been completed on Simonds, but the results have not been released by police.

Forget, 41, and Orillia's Sonny Brokenshire, 20, face first-degree murder charges in the case. They were arrested last week and remain in custody. Both will make their next appearances by video in Barrie court, with Forget up Tuesday and Brokenshire scheduled for Thursday.

Police have not commented on the connection between Simonds and the three accused.

While the investigation will continue, no further arrests are expected.

pbales@postmedia.com

twitter.com/patrickbales 



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