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Suspect: Cops don't have their man

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James Louis Whittlesey

Man detained in Canada says he is not Whittlesey despite evidence, fingerprints

By Candace Sipos -- csipos@nvdaily.com

A man who was detained in Canada on Sunday and believed to be Winchester bank robbery suspect James Louis Whittlesey claimed he was not the fugitive, although his fingerprints told another story.

The man requested that an admissibility hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon be postponed so that he could find a lawyer. The member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada in charge of the case granted this request.

The hearing is scheduled to be held this coming Tuesday at 1:15 p.m.

The man denied that he was Whittlesey and "denied all the facts forming the basis of the allegation," according to an email from Anna Pape, senior communications adviser for the IRB. However, the minister from the Canada Border Services Agency "produced confirmation of the identity of the person concerned through fingerprints, and provided further evidence consisting of an FBI wanted poster, the warrant of arrest, and an indictment form a Virginia Court," Pape wrote.

"The detention was continued without any offer of release," Pape said, noting that the suspect was not granted Canada's equivalent of a bond.

The minister kept the man in custody because he is considered to be a danger to the public and unlikely to appear in court after release, according to Pape.

Those decisions were based upon "the very serious nature and number of Mr. Whittlesey's past convictions," and the fact that he has used aliases, has no definite address and was found with someone else's identity document, Pape wrote.

The minister is claiming that the man is inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, because there is reason to believe that he's a foreign national who committed a crime that, if committed in Canada, would have been an offense under an act of Parliament.

Whittlesey, 51, last known to live in Maryland, was apprehended by Montreal Police Department officers at 8 a.m. Sunday, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.
Winchester police have charged Whittlesey with attempted capital murder of a police officer, aggravated bank robbery and use of a firearm in connection with a felony after an Oct.14 incident when police said he robbed the United Bank on Berryville Avenue then shot at officers who tried to apprehend him.

He also faces federal charges related to armed robberies in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

According to Pape, Whittlesey is wanted in three states for five bank robberies.

"The Minister indicated that the person concerned has had various convictions in the USA for robberies, burglaries, drug trafficking, as well as an escape from custody while serving sentence in a detention center," Pape wrote.

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