Secret facilities in Tennessee closed after police find patients held against their will

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By Chris Jancelewicz
Global News

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this article stated that the facilities involved in the story were owned and operated by the Church of Scientology. That information was contained in an erroneous statement from the Cannon County Sheriff’s Department. This article has been edited and amended to reflect that the facilities in question were in no way affiliated with the Church of Scientology. Global News regrets the error.

A group of psychiatric facilities in Tennessee has been closed after local police found some patients being held against their will.

The Cannon Courier, out of Cannon County, Tenn., reports that the buildings are now permanently closed and three suspects have been charged.

“[We] would like to make the general public of [the] county aware that the facilities are closed and [no longer] operating,” read a statement released by the Cannon County Sheriff’s Department.

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Police discovered the facilities, which were no more than tiny cabins and one double-wide trailer, concealed in the wilderness and heavily secured. They described the scene as “a gated, makeshift paddock secured externally with a steel latch.”

The authorities found out about the cabins when a man inside managed to call 911, and when police arrived the man was “looking out through a Plexiglas window.”

The unidentified man told police that he had been held in the facility against his will for nine months, and had been treated with unknown medications. According to officers who witnessed the scene, it was impossible for the man to leave the cabin, and all he was provided was a single bed with a single sheet and a tiny bathroom, which was the “only room with a light.”

After assessing the scene, the man was taken to an emergency room at a local hospital for care. When police later returned to the cabin and trailer armed with a search warrant, they discovered people hastily packing up and moving out all contents of the facilities.

The front gate’s large locking mechanism was also removed. Later on, when the police searched another location, they discovered yet another “patient,” this time a female. She too was transported to a local hospital and her family notified.

The charged suspects are Dennis Flamond and Hans Snyder Lytle, who both pleaded guilty to two counts of false imprisonment, and Marc Vallieres, who was charged with two felonies of facilitation to kidnapping.

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