When he was in Grade 7, Sébastien Beauchamp decided he no longer wanted to play by society’s rules and he walked out of classroom while his teacher was in the middle of a lesson.
When he was a young teenager Beauchamp, the 44-year-old man who was fatally shot Thursday in St-Léonard, had grown tired of the nomadic lifestyle his family was leading. As he would explain to the Parole Board of Canada many years later, in 1993, he had been transferred to either six or seven schools that same year.
He described his mother as having had “a hippy philosophy” and said she left his biological father when he was still a baby.
“You say that you were able to do what you want and you had no limits. At the age of 11 you began (using hard drugs),” the parole board wrote in a very detailed summary of a decision it made more than two decades ago. At the of 19, Beauchamp was already serving his first federal sentence, 31 months for having either imported or exported drugs and for having severely beaten a man who had hassled a friend of his. The summary says Beauchamp wasn’t content to have assaulted the man. He also emptied his pockets and used his keys and information from the man’s wallet to go inside the victim’s apartment and begin gathering anything of value. Beauchamp was arrested while he was still inside the man’s residence.
Beauchamp was remarkably open with the parole board in 1993. He recounted how, at the age of 13, he nearly emptied his mother’s home to sell items so he could buy acid and cocaine. His mother turned him in to police and he ended up spending 18 months in a centre for troubled youths.
By the age of 15, Beauchamp told the parole board, he was dealing drugs to survive.
It likely came as little surprise to Correctional Service Canada that Beauchamp began dealing drugs while he was behind bars. The surprise came in October 1994, just four days after he qualified for a statutory release. Beauchamp was recorded boasting to other inmates about frequenting dodgy bars and having used drugs despite the strict conditions imposed on his release.
His statutory release became a nightmare for Correctional Service Canada as Beauchamp spent several months behind bars for having violated his conditions.
When his sentence expired in 1995, his troubled youth and lack of respect for any rules made him an ideal candidate for the Rockers, the underling gang then-Hells Angels leader Maurice (Mom) Boucher created to help him in the biker’s bloody war with the Alliance, a collection of organized crime groups who opposed Boucher’s monopolistic desire to control drug trafficking across Quebec.
Beauchamp came to be known as “Bass” while he was in the Rockers. Besides a reckless attitude he also offered the Hells Angels expertise in trafficking in PCP. The gang’s main focus was cocaine and marijuana.
Like almost everyone else who was part of Boucher’s violent and vast drug trafficking network, Beauchamp was arrested in Operation Springtime 2001, along with dozens of other gang members. He was part of a group of nine accused who pushed the Crown to the limit at the Gouin courthouse in 2004.
Jurors heard evidence that Beauchamp joined the Rockers in 1997 and became a full-patch member in 2000. It was evidence he was involved in Quebec’s biker gang war, a conflict that stretched from 1994 to 2002, during the most violent years.
Beauchamp was convicted of having trafficked drugs for the benefit of a gang, the Hells Angels.
According to an affidavit prepared to obtain search warrants in Project Magot, a more recent investigation into how the Hells Angels had teamed up with the Montreal Mafia and street gangs to traffic in cocaine, Beauchamp maintained his ties to former members of the Rockers long after he finished serving the seven-year sentence he received in Operation Springtime 2001. Beauchamp was not charged in Project Magot but the affidavit shows that police conducting surveillance on gang leader Gregory Woolley, a former member of the Rockers, often spotted Beauchamp with him.