Montreal Hells Angels Guilty

Former biker released from jail

MONTREAL - Alain Dubois, 45, convinced the National Parole Board he was merely the victim of incredibly bad luck and timing when on Oct. 10, the Sûreté du Québec moved in and arrested him and three others in a fraud investigation where tractors were being purchased from stores by people using bogus cheques. 

Stalling tactics during trial affect sentencing of 9 bikers

MIKE KING

Montreal Gazette

March 05, 2004

Quebec Superior Court Justice Pierre Béliveau may have set a Canadian precedent yesterday in sentencing nine convicted Hells Angels and affiliated gang members

Normally, the time that accused spend in custody awaiting the end of their trial is counted as double toward their jail time, but in this case, Béliveau treated the nine months that the megatrial lasted as straight time.

The time that the nine spent in custody from the time of their spring 2001 arrests until the start of the trial last June will count as double, however.

"This has to be the first time in Canada that there has been a reproach for the length of a trial," defence lawyer Lucie Joncas told reporters in the hallway of the Gouin Blvd. courthouse specially built for the trial.

In handing down his 68-page decision, Béliveau chastised the defence lawyers for unnecessarily dragging out the trial through their stalling tactics.

"This is a most surprising issue," added Joncas, "an issue that should be definitely addressed."

The lawyer for Sébastien Beauchamp said it will be one of two grounds on which to appeal her client's sentence.

She suggested that sending him behind bars for 13 years after he was acquitted last month of conspiracy to commit murder is too severe.

Like his co-accused, Beauchamp was found guilty of conspiracy to traffic in drugs and gangsterism. The sentences included:

Richard "Dick" Mayrand, 40, Nomad - sentenced to 22 years, reduced to 16 years, 9 months after time in custody.

Luc "Bordel" Bordeleau, 43, Nomad - 20 years, down to 14 years, 9 months.

Sylvain Moreau, 35, Rocker - 20 years, down to 14 years, 9 months.

Bruno Lefebvre, 34, Nomad - 18 years, down to 12 years, 9 months.

André Couture, 38, Rocker - 18 years, down to 12 years, 9 months.

Érik "Le Pif" Fournier, 33, Rocker - 18 years, down to 12 years, 9 months.

Sébastien "Bass" Beauchamp, 30, Rockers - 13 years, down to 7 years, 9 months.

Ronald "Popo" Paulin, 46, retired Rocker - 12 years, down to 6 years, 6 months.

Alain Dubois, 42, former Rocker - 10 years, down to 9 years, 9 months.

Crown prosecutor Madeleine Giauque had sought sentences ranging from 14 to 29 years, but was satisfied with the jail time meted out by the judge.

"It's a clear message to everybody that society won't tolerate or accept such criminal behaviour," Giauque said.

Copyright 2004    Montreal Gazette

Two more elite Hells plead guilty

PAUL CHERRY

Montreal Gazette

March 05, 2004

Two more members of the Hells Angels elite Nomads chapter who terrorized anyone who got in their way when it came to selling drugs in Montreal pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy charges.

Michel Rose

Credit: Gazette

Michel Rose, 48, and André Chouinard, 44, appeared relaxed as they entered their pleas to charges of conspiring to murder members of rival gangs like the Rock Machine and the Bandidos between 1995 and 2001. They also admitted to importing and trafficking in drugs, and participating in gang activity.

Crown prosecutor André Vincent and lawyers  representing Rose and Chouinard made joint sentencing recommendations of 22 years each.

Justice Gilles Hébert said he would render his decision on sentences Monday.

Both men were facing possible extradition to the U.S. on the importation charges, but as part of a plea bargain Vincent agreed to charge them here.

Rose has been in custody since his arrest on March 28, 2001. Every day spent behind bars waiting for his case to end counts as two, so if Hébert accepts the joint recommendation, he would have 16 years left to serve. Chouinard, who quit the gang in 2000, was arrested only last April after he had gone on the lam and avoided police for more than two years.

Vincent asked Chouinard serve 20 years on top of the time he has already served.

Including yesterday's guilty pleas, 13 full-patch members and prospects of the Nomads chapter have been convicted in connection with a police sweep called Operation Springtime 2001. Two other members are currently on trial.

The importation charges to which Rose and Chouinard pleaded guilty were filed only yesterday and concern their dealings with a Colombian woman named Sandra Antelo.

In November, Antelo testified for the Crown in a different Hells Angels trial. Antelo, who had begun smuggling cocaine in Bolivia in 1977, said she regretted the day she hooked up with the Hells.

She said she believed dealing with the Nomads cost the life of her husband, Raymond Craig, and very nearly ended hers.

Antelo was introduced to Rose through a lawyer after she told the attorney she was looking for someone with whom to import cocaine. Within four months of their introduction, Rose had set up a meeting where they discussed the logistics of smuggling cocaine from Colombia to Miami, Fla., and then into Canada.

They agreed to bring in 200 kilograms of cocaine, but Rose did not initially reveal he was with the Hells Angels.

Antelo eventually came to trust Rose, who introduced her to Chouinard. Only when her husband stepped in to help with a maritime transport of 2,400 kilos of cocaine did Antelo learn she was doing business with the Hells Angels.

"My husband did not want to work with the Hells Angels. He had never worked with them before and he never wanted to," Antelo said in November.

"My husband knew how these people worked. He said from the beginning they were not the kind of group he wanted to work with."

Antelo said her husband agreed to work with the Hells Angels only because he assumed it was too late for her to back out.

By the time Antelo and Craig were working on a sixth deal with Rose and Chouinard, problems began emerging. There were disputes over who would assume certain costs.

Antelo said by June 2000, things between her and Chouinard were not going well.

She said Chouinard cancelled a Monday morning meeting that month and asked if they could meet the following day.

As she was driving to the meeting and about to get on to Highway 15, someone in a passing vehicle opened fire on her car. Antelo escaped the attack, suffering only cuts to her face from broken glass.

She said she called Chouinard, but he merely listened to what she had to say and then hung up. Antelo testified she packed up her kids, left the country and later decided to become a witness for the Drug Enforcement Agency in the United States.

On Aug. 29, 2000, almost three months after Antelo escaped death on the highway, her husband was fatally shot outside a bar in Ste. Adèle.

Both Craig's homicide and the attempted murder of Antelo have never been solved.

Copyright 2004    Montreal Gazette

Two more Hells Angels sentenced

MONTREAL - Andre Chouinard, 44, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and Michel Rose, 48, was given a 16-year term.

Nine Hells Angels and associates convicted of total of 26 criminal charges

PIERRE ST-ARNAUD

Canadian Press

March 2, 2004

MONTREAL  - In what one lawyer called a legal precedent in Canada, a jury convicted nine Hells Angels and associates on gangsterism charges Monday and found them guilty on 26 out of a total of 27 criminal charges.

The accused, who were arrested in a major police crackdown on biker gangs in 2001, each faced three charges - gangsterism, drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit murder. Eight of the men were convicted on all three counts, while the ninth was acquitted of the murder charge.

Crown prosecutor Madeleine Giauque praised the jurors, who heard about 125 days of testimony in the year-long trial.

Luc Bordeleau

"They did a marvellous job," Giauque said. "They were attentive all the time and they were very dedicated to their job."

 

André Couture

Previous convictions on gangsterism were handed down by judges alone.

"It's the first time anywhere in Canada a jury had to decide about a verdict on gangsterism," Giauque noted. "That's the proof that it's possible."

Giauque said she believes mega-trials are here to stay.

"Unfortunately, crime is organized in Quebec and I think that police, Justice Department officials, including the courts, have to be organized to deliver an efficient fight against organized crime."

Sentencing arguments will be heard March 22. The drug and murder charges each carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, while the gangsterism convictions carry a maximum sentence of 14 years, to be served consecutively.

 

Roger Carriere, another Crown prosecutor, said he believes police videotapes of the accused holding meetings proved crucial.

"You see people meeting to commit crimes," Carriere said. "They're all meeting around the table. You can't get better evidence than that."

Quebec Justice Minister Marc Bellemare welcomed the verdict on Monday.

"It shows that the mega-trials are an effective weapon against organized crime," he said in a statement.

Bruno Lefebvre

The nine accused were members of the Hells or the Rockers, a farmclub of the Angels.

They were charged with conspiring between 1995 and 2001 to kill people who were in rival gangs like the Rock Machine and the Bandidos. The Hells were locked in a war with their rivals for supremacy in the illegal-drug trade.

The trial made headlines in August 2002 after Superior Court Justice Jean-Guy Boilard withdrew as the presiding judge four months into proceedings.

Boilard said he did not have the moral authority to preside over the trial because the Canadian Judicial Council criticized him for the way he had blasted a lawyer in another case for mediocre work.

When Justice Pierre Beliveau took over in 2003, he decided to abort the trial so it could start again with a fresh jury.

Initially, there were 17 defendants. Seven later pleaded guilty and one avoided trial for health reasons.

The charges resulted from a police operation called Operation Springtime 2001, which ended seven years of battles in the streets of Montreal between the gangs.

The trial's long hours exacted a toll on the lawyers involved in the case. Some commented bitterly on the confrontational atmosphere that characterized disputes between the prosecutors and defence lawyers.

Defence lawyer Lucie Joncas, whose client Sebastien Beauchamp was the only one of the accused to get the one acquittal, expressed some satisfaction.

"Obviously I'm relieved that just because you're a member of the Rockers doesn't mean you necessarily are involved in any criminal activity," Joncas said.

"I think it's important there was a distinction made between being a member and committing a criminal offence."

Pierre Panaccio, who represented several of the convicted bikers, said he accepted the verdict and felt the jurors performed their duties fairly.

"The system being what it is, the only thing left for us is to argue for a sentence to obtain the best possible result for our clients," said Panaccio, who refused to speculate on the eventual sentence his clients would receive.

Giauque said six of the nine still face first-degree murder charges.

Asked what the first thing was to race through her mind as the verdicts were read out, Giauque replied: "Holidays."

The trial was held at a specially built $16.5-million courthouse in the city's north end. Another Hells mega-trial held at the same place ended last fall with nine people pleading guilty to gangsterism, drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit murder.

Other mega-trials scheduled for Winnipeg and Edmonton in recent years never got going because of plea bargains and a judge's decision to stay charges on the basis the trial had been unreasonably delayed.

© The Canadian Press 2004

Accused of Conspiring to Take Control of Montreal's Drug Trade

By RENE BRUEMMER

Montreal Gazette

February 20, 2004

The Charges

Nine men are accused of conspiring, between Jan. 15, 1995, and March 27, 2001, to kill people who were in rival gangs like the Rock Machine and the Bandidos. They are also all charged with conspiring to traffic in drugs between May 14, 1997, and March 27, 2001, and participating in the activities of a gang during the same period.

Sébastien (Bass) Beauchamps, 30, a member of the Rockers. Video evidence presented during the trial showed him "doing the watch" a term used by the Rockers to mean working security at gang meetings or acting as a bodyguard for a member of the Hells Angels. Informants testified Beauchamps specialized in selling PCP for the Rockers and was said to have sold the drug all over St. Denis St.

Sylvain Moreau

Luc Bordeleau, 43, a prospect in the Hells Angels Nomad chapter. What the jury didn't hear about Bordeleau was that he once served a federal sentence during the 1990s after he was caught scuba diving in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence in an attempt to find more than 700 kilograms of cocaine that had been smuggled in by the Mafia and the Hells Angels and dumped in the water packed in pipes to elude the police.

André Couture, 38, a member of the Rockers. Informants said Couture moved cocaine for a member of the Hells Angels Nomad chapter. In 1997, Couture was arrested for possession of a firearm and the police seized documents from him. Those documents confirmed what informants said, that Couture took drug orders for the Nomad's customers and made sure they were delivered.

Alain Dubois, 41, a former member of the Rockers. The son of one of the members of the infamous Dubois gang. Dubois has been on trial longer than he was a member of the Rockers. He joined on Aug. 24, 1999, and quit on April 26, 2000. He was taken into the Rockers fold quickly because, as one informant alleged, he was a respected drug dealer in the city's west end.

Éric Fournier, 33, a member of the Rockers. Informants had very little to say about Fournier but he was videotaped acting as security at gang meetings and contributing to the Rockers "10 per cent" fund. During the trial, the defence contended it was merely a legal fund. But some informants said it was also used for weapons.

Bruno Lefebvre, 34, a prospect member of the Hells Angels Nomad chapter. Lefebvre was described by informants as having dealt in drugs in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve for the Rockers and then later in Verdun when the gang expanded there

Ronald (Popo) Paulin

Richard (Dick) Mayrand, 40, a full-patch member of the Nomad chapter. Mayrand has been a Hells Angel for more than 15 years and is perhaps the most important member of the gang in this trial. His lawyer describes him as a peace-loving body builder but he had a hard time explaining the $300,000 in cash seized at a house in Longueuil where Mayrand resided.

Sylvain Moreau, 35, a member of the Rockers. One informant said Moreau sold drugs for him while he was a Rocker. The informant said Moreau's initial duties were to find new territories where the Rockers could sell drugs.

Ronald (Popo) Paulin, 46, a member of the Rockers. If the jury will have trouble convicting any of the accused it might be Paulin. One informant said he sold small quantities of drugs for the Rockers for several years. Another said he thought Paulin was only there to "socialize." Paulin seemed content in handling menial tasks for the gang like arranging for T-shirts and plaques to be made with the Rocker effigy. But he did provide security at gang meetings and did contribute to the gang's "10 per cent" fund.

Copyright 2004    Montreal Gazette

 

  Prime Time Crime

Sept. 2003