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Quebec man helps nab suspected U.S. child molestor

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It sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie.

A Chateauguay man late last month helped police and immigration officials capture a U.S. fugitive wanted on charges of sexually molesting a little girl.

Jim Blevings said something was fishy when he and his friends met a young man at their local watering hole calling himself Michael who said he snuck into Canada because drug dealers were after him in Syracuse, New York.

"He didn't want to talk about certain things, he kept mentioning the drugs and why he was here and coming through the woods. Everything didn't add up," said Blevings, a 45-year-old tool keeper for a local adult ed center.

Blevings and his friends satisfied their doubts with a quick Google search that found the man was Joseph M. Elioff, indicted for sexually molesting a 4-year-old girl. A phone call to the DA found that a bench warrant was out for his arrest after a no-show in court October 21. But Blevings said he couldn't just leave it to the authorities who said they could handle it.

"But they weren't. That's the point. They weren't handling it. They had to wait for the paperwork to be done," Blevings said, who was afraid red tape would allow the suspect to slip away.

"The cops needed a warrant to get into a hotel, they had to wait for paperwork, they had to wait to hear from the States."

Blevings insisted on being a part of a sting operation that ended October 24. Blevings said he drove the unsuspecting man to a local parking lot where they were soon surrounded by police and immigration authorities who took the suspect into custody.

Chateaguay police spokesperson Nathalie Langevin said this was done under extraordinary circumstances and they would make sure not to put anyone in danger.The suspect remains in custody in Quebec pending a transfer to U.S. authorities.

The three day ordeal left Blevings in a shaky and emotional state. But he said he'd do it all over again.

"I wanted him out of our town," Blevings said.

"I have 15 nieces and nephews. I have friends with kids, and I couldn't let him be walking around our town."

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