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Quebec Biker War

 
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05/26/2019 08:14 PM
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Quebec Biker War
The Quebec Biker War (French: Guerre des motards; "Bikers' war") was a violent turf war that began in 1994 and continued until late 2002 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada between the Quebec branch of the Hells Angels and the Rock Machine. In March 2002, the American journalist Julian Rubinstein wrote about the biker war: "Considering how little attention the story has attracted outside Canada, the toll is staggering: 162 dead, scores wounded. The victims include an 11-year-old boy killed by shrapnel from one of the more than 80 bombs bikers planted around the province. Even the New York Mafia in its heyday never produced such carnage, or so terrorized civilians."

[link to en.wikipedia.org (secure)]
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In the early 1980s, a major biker gang in Quebec was the SS, a white supremacist biker gang led by Maurice Boucher and Salvatore Cazzetta, who dominated organized crime in the Pointe-aux-Trembles district of Montreal.[3] A rift emerged between the two at the time of the Lennoxville massacre in 1985 as Cazzetta vowed never to work with the Hell's Angels and founded the Rock Machine in 1986 with his brother Giovanni.[3] Boucher by contrast, after serving a 40-month prison sentence for raping a 16-year-old girl, was impressed by the Lennoxville massacre, which proved to him that the Angels were sufficiently ruthless for his tastes and joined the Hell's Angels, ultimately becoming the leader of the Quebec branch.[3][4] The journalist James Dubro stated about outlaw biking in Quebec: "There always has been more violence in Quebec. In the biker world it's known as the Red Zone. I remember an Outlaws hit man telling me he was scared going to Montreal."[5]

The war began as the Hells Angels in Quebec began to make a push to establish a monopoly on street-level drug sales in the province in 1993. In Quebec, most of the illegal drugs were imported by the Mafia while being distributed by the biker gangs to various street level drug dealers.[6] The journalist André Cédillot, an expert on biker gangs in Quebec, stated in an interview: "The Mafia were in charge of importation and the Hells Angels were the distributors. Internationally, the Mafia has a better reputation than Hells Angels because the Colombians don't trust the Hells Angels, but they do trust the Mafia".[6] In Quebec, the power of the Mafia was limited by the fact it was only open to those who were Sicilians or of Sicilian descent. In contrast, the bikers were, and remain, mostly French-Canadian.[3] The Italo-Canadian Cazzetta was not a member of the Mafia, but he did have a close relationship with the Montreal Mafia, and as a result of his Mafia ties, the Hell's Angels were unwilling to challenge the Rock Machine as long as he was leader.[7] Cazzetta has often been described as controlling all of the organized crime in Montreal that was not controlled by the Mafia in the late 1980s-early 1990s.[8]

The Hell's Angels had first entered Quebec in 1977, but the group was badly weakened by the Lennoxville massacre on 24 March 1985 when five members of the Angels' chapter in Laval were shot by their colleagues.[9] Afterwards, the vacuum was filled by a number of Montreal-based organized crime groups such as the Rock Machine, and it was not until the early 1990s that the Angels became a major force in Montreal organized crime again.[9] As the Laval chapter of the Angels had been liquidated, the leaders of the Sorel chapter fled to Canada upon learning that they were also targeted. Boucher, who would become the new president of the Sorel chapter, rose quickly through the ranks.[4] In the aftermath of the massacre, Michel "Sky" Langois, the national president of the Canadian Hells Angels fled Canada to Morocco after a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of first-degree murder and Boucher, who became a "full patch" Hells Angel on 1 May 1987, became president of the Montreal South chapter later that year.[4] One of Boucher's friends was Guy Lepage, a former Montreal police officer dismissed from the force for associating with Mafiosi, who became his main contact with the Mafia.[10]

In 1992, as part of a push to recruit more members, the Angels created a puppet club, the Rockers. This was a common tactic on the part of the Angels to provide more manpower and a wider pool of followers willing to commit crimes in order to become Hells Angels.[11] In the world of outlaw biking, members of a puppet club normally commit most of the crimes in the hope that they will be promoted to the rank of "prospect" within the Hells Angels proper.[12] A British policeman told the journalist Patrick Lejtenyi about the use of puppet clubs by the Hells Angels: "However, the paranoia that new recruits might be infiltrators from law enforcement or even journalists causes much angst around their selection. In order to try and avoid this, potential members are treated like shit and asked to perform various tasks to prove their worth. These are often degrading or illegal, the rationale being that a UC [undercover] cop or similar wouldn't have the stomach for this or have the necessary authority to actually commit crimes. The downside of this is that the attrition rate is high. Many wannabes wise up and don't bother. However, those determined to wear the patch will often happily do as they are ordered and that's what makes these gangs so dangerous.".[12] When Cazzetta was arrested on charges on importing cocaine into the United States in 1994, the Angels saw an opportunity to challenge the Rock Machine.[3] Cazzetta spent 10 years in a U.S prison for attempting to smuggle 200 kilograms of cocaine into Canada.[8] A number of drug dealers and crime families resisted and established groups such as the "Alliance to fight the Angels".
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05/26/2019 08:15 PM
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Re: Quebec Biker War
The war resulted in the bombings of many establishments and murders on both sides. It claimed more than 150 lives,[13] including some innocent bystanders such as Daniel Desrochers, an 11-year-old boy who was fatally injured by shrapnel as he was playing near a jeep that was blown up.[14] The guerre des motards is considered to have begun with the murder in Montreal of the drug dealer Maurice Lavoie on 19 October 1994 who was gunned down in his car while his girlfriend was wounded.[15] Lavoie had previously been buying his wares from the Pelletier Clan associated with the Rock Machine, but had recently switched to the Hell's Angels, and as a result the Pelletier Clan hired a criminal named Patrick Call to kill him.[15] On 28 October 1994, Sylvain Pelletier, the leader of the Pelletier Clan, was killed by the Hell's Angels, who threatened to murder any drug dealer who did not buy their supplies from them.[15] After these killings, an increasingly murderous struggle for the control of the drug trade in Montreal began between the Hell's Angels and the Rock Machine that would not end until 2002.[15] The favorite weapon of both biker gangs was dynamite stolen from mines and construction sites, a choice of weapon that was just as likely to kill or injure the assassins – or bystanders – as it was their target.[9]

After Pelletier was killed, the independent drug dealers of Montreal formed the "Alliance to fight the Angels" headed by his younger brother, Harold Pelletier, whose first act was an attempt to assassinate Boucher in November 1994.[16] Another member of the Pelletier Clan, Martin Simard, purchased enough stolen dynamite to fill a truck, which was left by Boucher's favorite restaurant by the Alliance member Martin Pellerin.[16] The plan was to set off the explosives by remote control when Boucher arrived, killing him and everybody else in the restaurant, but a Montreal parking officer noticed the truck was parked illegally and had it towed, unintentionally foiling the plot.[16] The Pelletier Clan and the Rock Machine was the most visible parts of the "Alliance to fight the Angels", but its most influential part was the ultra-secretive Dark Circle, a group of outwardly respectable Montreal businessmen who were secretly engaging in the drug trade.[17] What the Dark Circle all had in common was that all of them owned bars and/or restaurants from which drugs were sold, and drug money laundered; bars in particular being a business where transactions were often in cash lent themselves well to money laundering.[18] It was agreed that the Pelletier Clan and the Rock Machine would provide the muscle while the Dark Circle would provide the money.[17] The Dark Circle's leadership was provided by a committee of 5 whose chairman was Michel Duclos, a Montreal school-teacher who also owned a bar that was a front for laundering the profits of the drug trade.[17]

In November 1994, a disgruntled member of the Rockers, Dany Kane, a protege of a senior Angels' leader David "Wolf" Carroll, contacted the Interpol office in Ottawa, saying he wanted to sell information to the police.[19] Carroll had founded the Angels' chapter in Halifax in 1984, and moved to Montreal in 1990 to assist the president of the Montreal chapter, Maurice Boucher, despite the fact his French was very limited.[20] It is generally believed that Carroll was in Montreal to assist the planned expansion of the Angels into Ontario, since he together with the national president Wolodumir "Walter the Nurget" Stadnick and Donald "Pup" Stockford were the only Anglos in the Quebec Angels' leadership.[21] Neither Stadnick nor Stockford spoke French, and police wiretaps showed that when the leaders of the Angels met, interpreters were needed for them to participate.[21] Carroll had spent two years in a Quebec prison between 1985-87 awaiting first-degree murder charges for his role in the Lennoxville massacre, during which he learned some French.[22] At the request of Carroll and Stadnick, Kane founded a puppet club for the Angels in Toronto called the Demon Keepers. However, the Demon Keepers was a fiasco, and Kane sought revenge by working with the police. Interpol put Kane into contact with Staff Sergeant Jean-Pierre Lévesque of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who appointed Corporal Pierre Verdon of Montreal to be his handler.[19] At their first meeting on 4 November 1994, Kane told Verdon that the leader of the Angels in Quebec was Maurice "Mom" Boucher, whom he described as a highly dangerous man who was much feared by the other Angels, who was planning to murder anyone and everyone who might oppose him in his plans to take over the drug trade in Quebec.[23] Some of the information sold by Kane to the RCMP was self-serving and incorrect, as when he named another Angel as responsible for a murder that he himself had committed in 1995, but in general, Kane's information was accurate and is the main source of information about the biker war from the Angels' perspective.[24] Kane was leading a double life in more than one sense, as the ostensibly straight Kane was having a secret relationship with another Rocker, Aime Simard. Kane mentioned to Verdon that one of the Angels, an American living in Montreal named Scott Steinert, was willing to do anything to win the war, and had gone on a dynamite buying spree, adding that both Boucher and Steinert were furious when they learned about the dynamite-packed truck left by the restaurant.[16]
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05/26/2019 08:16 PM
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Re: Quebec Biker War
In response to the public outrage over the death of Desrochers, the federal, Quebec, and Montreal governments announced on 5 October 1995 the much vaulted Operation Carcajou, an elite joint task force consisting of the best detectives from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Sûreté du Québec and the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal that was supposed to end the biker war swiftly and promptly, and bring to justice those responsible for the death of Desrochers.[36] Operation Carcajou proved to be a fiasco because of politics. From 1994 to 2003, Quebec was ruled by the separatist Parti Québécois (PQ) and relations between Ottawa and Quebec City, which were difficult in the best of times, were highly acrimonious. Throughout the biker war, the PQ government blamed the Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, claiming the existing laws were insufficient to deal with bikers. PQ officials also claimed that Canada needed a tough anti-gang law modeled after the American RICO act that would make membership in criminal organizations illegal.[37] The Chrétien government for a long time resisted this pressure, claiming the existing laws were adequate to deal with the biker war and that it was just up to Quebec to apply them. Both sides had their own agenda with Quebec City using the unwillingness of the federal government to pass a RICO-type act as evidence of Ottawa's supposed indifference to Quebec, thus justifying separatism while Ottawa used the inability of Quebec City to deal with the biker war as evidence of Quebec's incompetence in maintaining law and order, thus justifying federalism.

The feuding between the federal and Quebec governments very much affected Operation Carcajou with the RCMP and the Sûreté du Québec. Detectives spent their time feuding with one another and made almost no serious efforts to investigate crimes committed by the bikers as the detectives were much more interested in pursuing their vendettas against one another.[38] One detective who served on Operation Carcajou later told the journalists William Marsden and Julian Sher that Operation Carcajou was completely ineffective owing to the poisoned relations between Quebec City and Ottawa during this period.[38] The Poitras Commission that was set up to examine the Sûreté du Québec after the case against the West End Gang boss Gerry Mattricks collapsed when detectives were caught planting evidence, blasted Operation Carcajou as a colossal waste of money in its 1999 report.[39] The Poitras commission wrote that Operation Carcajou was characterized by dysfunctional relationships, clashing egos, and bureaucratic in-fighting with the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal only interested in making a power grab, and the RCMP and Sûreté du Québec only interested in ensuring that the blame for the continuing biker war fell on the other service.[39]

Commander Bouchard joined Operation Carcajou in 1995 and started with raiding businesses controlled by the outlaw bikers, always dressed in his full uniform in order to show he was not afraid of the bikers.[40] Initially Bouchard described Carcajou as an impressively well funded operation with the most modern equipment, but described the Sûreté du Québec detectives who were a part of Operation Carcajou as having questionable ethics.[41] In a visit to Quebec City, Bouchard was taken by several Sûreté du Québec detectives to a restaurant where all the food and drinks were on the house.[41] Bouchard described the scene: "I walk in and they got a party going on in there. This was a sit-down supper, you know-booze and wine at $50 a bottle. Nobody's paying. And you're starting to think, what the fuck is going on here? Is this a protected bar? Ah, okay. So they never take down a Hells Angel or a Rock Machine or someone who's in the bar. They let him alone. That's not good".[41] Bouchard also described the Sûreté du Québec detectives as having dubious expense accounts. Bouchard stated: "My guys from Montreal are interrogating a source at some motel and they order a pizza and four Cokes or whatever, talk to the guy for a couple of hours and then they order a club sandwich. But the SQ guys were coming in [with invoices for stays at the] Ritz Carlton, steak dinner, wine. I was asked to sign bills for $800. I go 'fuck you, I'm not signing this. You interrogate a piece of shit, you interrogate him in a motel-you don't bring him to the fucking Ritz'".[41] Bouchard stated he left Operation Carcajou in 1996 out of disgust with the uncooperative attitude of the Sûreté du Québec, saying: "They were doing secret jobs. We didn't know. We found out the next morning: there'd be seven guys in the cells. Where the fuck did they come from? That's when it got a little rough".[42]

In Canada, belonging to a criminal organization like the Mafia or the Hells Angels was not in itself a crime, and prosecutors could only convict a Mafiosi or a Hell Angel if it could be established that they had committed a crime. Under the RICO act in the United States, membership of a criminal organization was made a criminal offense, thus making the job of American prosecutors much easier. The Chrétien government refused to a pass a RICO type law, citing concerns about civil liberties, and the closest it came was with Bill C-95 in 1997 that increased the penalties if it could established that someone had committed a crime in the service of a criminal organization.[43] Bill C-95 was passed in 1997 and the journalists Timothy Appleby and Tu Tu Thanh of The Globe and Mail observed in 2000 that no-one had been convicted under Bill C-95 offenses.[43]
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05/26/2019 08:17 PM
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Reflecting the way that the Angels were winning the war, in October 1995, Harold Pelletier, one of the heads of the Pelletier Clan, turned himself in to the Sûreté du Québec, confessing that on the night of 7 August 1983 he murdered a drug dealer named Michel Beaulieu who was behind in his payments to the Pelletier Clan, and asked that the police provide him with protection from the Angels in exchange for more information about his crimes.[44] Ultimately, Pelletier confessed to committing 17 murders between 1983-1995, yet he was only convicted of the murder of Beaulieu. Pelletier's murder of Beaulieu was classified as second degree murder, despite the fact Beaulieu had fallen asleep after Pelletier got him drunk before he was shot. Since the murder was premeditated, it should have been classified as a murder in the first degree.[45] In his plea bargain struck in June 1996 Pelletier was sentenced to life imprisonment with a promise that he receive full parole after 10 years served, in exchange for which he shared all he knew about the Montreal underworld.[45] The Crown justified the plea bargain with Pelletier, given that he was guilty of 17 murders, on the grounds he was a "mine of information" about the underworld of Montreal.[46] Pelletier's motives for striking a plea bargain was that the "Alliance against the Angels" was collapsing with Alliance members defecting over to the Angels, and he wanted Crown protection from the Angels.[46] However, Pelletier violated the terms of his plea bargain, under which he promised not to commit any more crimes, when he was caught in 2002 attempting to bribe another prison inmate to kill a prisoner whom he disliked, allowing the Crown to revoke its agreement and Pelletier was not released in June 2006 as was promised 10 years earlier.[46] Pelletier finally received full parole in December 2013 after he completed his high school equivalency degree, started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and had come to accept that violence was not the best solution to any problem and just because he was angry with someone that did not give him the right to murder them, as had been his previous attitude.[47]

After getting over a fright caused by the killing of Desrochers, Steinert was living high at this time, receiving the "Filthy Few" patch in March 1996 awarded to those who killed for the Angels and a full patch at the same time.[48] Steinert was the biggest pimp in Montreal, owning the Sensations escort service, whose office in Montreal was destroyed in a case of arson in August 1996 by the Rock Machine.[49] The success of the Sensations escort service caused tensions with Carroll whose Adventure escort service suffered as Steinert wanted all of the profits from prostitution for himself.[50] Steinert founded what he called his Groupe de Cinq to take over all the bars and night clubs on Crescent Street in Montreal and branching out into Ontario to take over the bars and nightclubs on York Street in Ottawa.[50] Steinert also had plans to take over the bars, restaurants and nightclubs of Toronto, Kingston and Winnipeg.[50] Not content with Canada, the insatiably greedy Steinert had got into contact with a New York Mafia family to send strippers from Quebec to a Mafia-owned resort in the Dominican Republic.[50] Boucher approved of Steinert, whose work ethic contrasted strongly with Carroll who was a self-proclaimed "party animal".[50] Kane mentioned to the RCMP that Steinert had been living in Montreal since he was a teenager, but that he never taken Canadian citizenship, which led the Canadian government to go to the courts seeking an injunction to deport Steinert back to the United States.[51]

In May 1996, Steinert's bodyguard, Donald "Bam Bam" Magnussen, lost his temper at a party and murdered David Boyko, the leader of a Winnipeg biker gang, the Los Bravos, who were planning on "patching over" to become Hells Angels, which caused some problems with the Angels' plans to expand into the Prairies.[52] Magnussen was a huge man from Thunder Bay, not known for his intelligence, but recruited into the Angels because of his size, strength and brutality.[53] Magnussen's stupidity worked against him as Carroll become convinced that nobody could be as stupid as Magnussen was, which led him to the conclusion that Magnussen must be an undercover policeman working to destroy the Angels from within.[52] Steinert was not included in the Nomads chapter, and was planning in October 1996 on forming his cell within the Montreal South chapter in what appeared to be a challenge to Boucher's authority.[52] Carroll ordered Kane to kill Magnussen, an order that Kane was reticent to fulfill as Magnussen was a full patch Hells Angel while Kane was only a Rocker; such a violation of Angels' etiquette could very well result in Kane's own murder.[54] At Kane's request, the police visited Magnussen to warn him that the other Angels were planning on killing him, but he dismissed the warnings completely as a police provocation intended to turn him against his "brothers".[54]
Anonymous Coward
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05/26/2019 10:17 PM
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Re: Quebec Biker War
Shit, if I wanted to read a book.....
Anonymous Coward
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05/26/2019 10:20 PM
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Shit, if I wanted to read a book.....
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 26563083


...here you go... [link to en.wikipedia.org (secure)]
Anonymous Coward
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05/26/2019 11:25 PM
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Re: Quebec Biker War
Thank you,sir