Operation against the Hells Angels: thirty arrests planned

The police are leading this morning a ring in the entourage of the Hells Angels. Thirty arrests are planned in connection with the sale of narcotics.

The National Organized Crime Squad (ENRCO), which brings together several police forces under the coordination of the Sûreté du Québec, triggered the operation in the early hours of the morning.

According to our information, two members of the Hells Angels, Claude Gauthier and Pascal Facchino, appear on the hunting board of the police. The homes of the two men had been searched during the investigation called Orque in mid-December.

Gauthier is an influential member of the Hells Angels of Trois-Rivieres. He is very close to ex-member Mario Brouillette and the influential Normand Ouimet, currently held in the wake of Operation SharQc.

The National Organized Crime Squad (ENRCO), which brings together several police forces under the coordination of the Sûreté du Québec, triggered the operation in the early hours of the morning.

Two members of the Hells Angels, Claude Gauthier and Pascal Facchino, appear on the hunting board of the police. The homes of the two men had been searched during the investigation called Orque in mid-December.

Gauthier – who celebrated his 51st birthday five days ago – is an influential member of the Hells Angels of Trois-Rivieres. He is very close to ex-member Mario Brouillette and the influential Normand Ouimet, currently held in the wake of Operation SharQc.

Gauthier was the Hells Angels who remained the longest on the run following Operation SharQc conducted in April 2009. He did not give himself until seven and a half years later, in December 2016, but benefited from a stay of proceedings the next day. He was accused of murders and murder conspiracies, like all the others, and was on the list of the ten most wanted criminals in Quebec.

As for Pascal Facchino, 44, he would be the last Hells Angels to have officially obtained his colors, these last months, during the investigation Orque.

Another of the individuals arrested this morning is Dany Couillard, 49, Claude Gauthier’s long-standing relationship. It should be noted that Gauthier, Facchino and Couillard were among some forty individuals arrested in 2002 following an investigation called Osmose, in which the Sûreté du Québec investigators had dismantled a drug trafficking network that was operating in the same sectors as the networks targeted this morning, in the Outaouais and in the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu region.

Gauthier, Facchino and Couillard were sentenced to 30 months, 7 years, four months and three and a half years respectively for gangsterism and drug trafficking.

Hydra has many heads

It should be noted that this morning, the police targeted a drug trafficking network operating in the Outaouais region, in the same area where they dismantled another drug trafficking network less than a year ago. As part of an investigation called Objection.

All suspects arrested this morning will be charged today at the Montreal and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu courthouses. The principals will face chiefs of gangsterism, conspiracy to drug trafficking, drug trafficking and receiving.

According to Sergeant Claude Denis, the strike is aimed at the dismantling of several drug sales networks controlled by the Hells and activated in “more than a dozen municipalities” in Mauricie, Montérégie, Estrie, Outaouais, in the Center du Quebec and in certain specific boroughs of Montreal.

The searches this morning are the culmination of three investigations. The first, Orque, was conducted by ENRCO, whose mandate is to fight against the heads of organized crime, while the other two, named Palmaire and Paquebot, were carried out by the Regional Joint Squad (ERM) of Montérégie and ERM Outaouais, overseen by the Sûreté du Québec.

This morning at a press conference, Inspector Guy Lapointe said that since the creation of ENRCO two years ago, his investigators have arrested 11 members of the Hells Angels (out of the approximately 80 currently on the move in Quebec)

The Orque survey in figures

-33 arrest warrants

-37 searches

Items seized

-23 vehicles

-One 2 kilos of cocaine

$ -120,000

-27 100 tablets of methamphetamine

-4 firearms

-6 Hells Angels jackets and an escutcheon

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