column was published in the North
Shore News on
Aug. 16, 2000)
national biker war
By Leo Knight
a hot August afternoon just five years ago, 11-year-old Daniel
Desrochers was riding his bicycle on Adam Street in Montreal's
east-end Hochelaga district.
he pedalled past a curbside Jeep, a bomb inside the car
Shrapnel ripped through his little body leaving him in a coma until his death four days later. He became the first innocent victim in the violent drug war in Quebec between the Hells Angels and the Rock Machine which, to date, has claimed over 150 lives.
the war for control of Quebec's lucrative drug trade has been
going on since 1994, there is growing evidence that the Rock
Machine are upping the stakes and the violence is moving
this summer, on June 10, the Rock Machine opened two new
chapters in Ontario, which included the patch-over of nine
members of the Outlaws, one of the so-called "Big
Four" outlaw motorcycle gangs in the world. While the
Angels have some limited control in the huge Ontario market,
with associations with the Vagabonds and Para-Dice Riders, they
have been unable to establish a chapter there.
of the original founding members of the Quebec
"Nomads" chapter of the Hells Angels, Wolodumir
"Nugget" Stadnick and Donald "Pup" Stockford
live in Hamilton and have been working diligently to get a
chapter set up in the Golden Horseshoe of Southwestern Ontario.
The president of the Nomads is Maurice "Mom" Boucher,
thought to be one of the most powerful gangsters in the country.
patch-over of the Outlaws in Ontario originated with a meeting
held earlier in the spring, in Chicago, between Quebec Nomads
and senior people with the Outlaws. The Hells Angels warned the
Outlaws to stay away from the Rock Machine lest they get sucked
into the war as well.
older Outlaws, who well remember the decade-long war with the
Hells Angels, which spread throughout the U.S., agreed to the
concept. The nine Outlaws in Ontario, too young to remember the
bloodshed of the early '80s, rejected the idea of being told
what to do and joined with the Rock Machine, renouncing the
skull and crossed pistons of the Outlaw colours in favour of the
red and gold eagle.
year ago, in this space, I told you of the change in status of
the Rock Machine to that of a support club for the Texas-based
Bandidos motorcycle gang. In that column, I warned of the
possibility the drug war could spread to Vancouver streets. The
Bandidos sport red and gold colours and giving the support
status to the Rock Machine allowed them to wear the red and gold
of the Bandits, albeit in reverse.
that time, intelligence reports indicate the Bandidos told the
Rock Machine that they would not get "patched-over"
until such time as they were a "national" club. Police
sources tell me that the Rock Machine devised plans to get three
new chapters, two in Ontario and one in Vancouver.
the June 10 patch-over, members of the Rock Machine are now
wearing a bottom rocker on their colours that says
"Canada" as opposed to the city where the chapter is
located. This is especially significant because the Hells Angels
consider Canada their territory.
there are signs that the Angels in Quebec are not as feared as
they once were. In April, Angel Normand "Biff" Hamel,
a full patch member and close associate of Boucher, was executed
in a north Montreal parking lot. On June 24 Louis "Melou"
Roy, a Nomads member and former president of the Trois Rivieres
chapter went missing and is presumed dead.
July 7, in a brazen attack in a family restaurant, Robert Savard
was gunned down while having breakfast with Normand Descoteaux.
Both men are loan sharks and close associates of "Mom"
Boucher. Savard died of his wounds and Descoteaux is recovering
in hospital. In that shooting, a waitress got caught in the
gunfire and was seriously wounded, another innocent victim of
attacks are seen as direct challenges to the authority of
soon as the Vancouver chapter of the Rock Machine is
established, it seems likely the Bandidos will patch-over the
club. The war back east will spread across the continent and
possibly even to Europe where the Bandidos and the Hells Angels
have had an uneasy truce for the past three years following a
violent war which included bombs and missile launchers.
prevailing thought among the younger members of the Bandidos is
that they are going to have to fight the Hells Angels sooner or
later so they might as well get their alliances together and do
it now before they become even more powerful. It is either that
or acquiesce. And that's not an option. The Bandits are the
second largest outlaw motorcycle gang in the world and control
the lion's share of the methamphetamine trade. Currently, their
closest chapter to Vancouver is in Ferndale, Washington, a
Sgt. J.P. Levesque, biker intelligence expert for Criminal
Intelligence Services Canada said, "We know that the Hells
Angels in Canada want nothing to do with peace with the Rock
want to get rid of them and that's the end of it. Before, the
war was mainly isolated to Quebec, but now it's more likely to
involve the rest of the Hells Angels in Canada," he
B.C. chapters of the Hells Angels are the richest in Canada and
a significant target for the Rock Machine. The B.C. Nomads
chapter is busy strengthening its numbers, recently elevating
two associates to "hangaround" status.
the spate of drive-by shootings in our city has had you nervous,
you ain't seen nothin' yet. And all of this was supposed to have
been prevented with then-Justice Minister, Allan Rock's
anti-gang legislation, Bill C-95, which thus far has not yielded
a single successful prosecution.
was enacted in 1997, a knee-jerk reaction to the public outcry
after the death of 11-year-old Daniel Desrochers. The government
was told it was unenforceable, and it has proved just that. As
usual, they didn't listen.
Meanwhile the body count is now over 150 and the war is spreading throughout the country.