Stepped-up security at bridges with Canada

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Vehicles heading to Canada may be subjected to increased random checks at western New York border crossings.

The enhanced security measure ties-in with the search for escaped killers Richard Matt, a western New York native, and David Sweat. The two broke out of the maximum security prison in Dannemora last weekend.

“We are on alert that it is a possibility that they could come this way,” said Chief Aaron Bowker, who is in charge of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Buffalo.

Bowker has been putting in long hours because Dannemora falls within his jurisdiction.

“The minute this escape happened they notified us,” he said.

Five members of his specially trained tactical field unit are now actively searching for the escapees in the northern part of the state.

In Western New York, the checks at the bridge crossings are relatively painless for drivers, who don’t seem to mind minor delays.

One motorist said, “They’ve got to find them. An inconvenience to me, (but) the important thing is to get them.”

Some western New Yorkers who helped prosecute Matt for the brutal torture and murder of North Tonawanda businessman William Rickerson, fear he may seek retribution.

One young passenger on his way to Canada commented, “Kind of weird walking around and then knowing that someone might be around there. That’s not very safe sometimes.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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