The Parole Board of Canada has done an about-face and suddenly cancelled the planned release of a former outlaw motorcycle gang leader after having received information that his life is in danger.
On May 7, the parole board granted Jean-François Emard day parole on the 33-month sentence he received in March 2018 after he was convicted of having possessed a firearm and drugs while he was parading around in the gang colours of the Rock Machine, a biker gang best known to Quebecers for its role in a bloody conflict with the Hells Angels between 1994 and 2002. The gang’s name vanished for years after the conflict ended but Emard and a handful of men revived the gang and even granted interviews to a few journalists in 2014 boasting that the gang was back.
A police investigation during the spring of 2017 revealed Emard was the head of a drug trafficking ring and when his house was searched police found drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and cannabis. They also found a firearm stuffed in his couch. According to a court decision delivered in his case last year, Emard claimed he took the gun from the member of a “rival gang” who “wanted to make sure Mr. Emard would be unable to walk for the rest of his days.”
The same decision details how Emard also claimed that a Hells Angel had set fire to his home in 2010 and that someone was willing to pay $50,000 to end his life.
His current sentence includes a 30-month judgment he received, on May 2, 2018, after he was found guilty of having committed an indecent act by having sex on the hood of a car parked on the side of a public roadway.
During his May 7 parole hearing, Emard said he has quit the gang but it appears someone might still take offence to his organized crime affiliations.
According to the summary of a decision made by the Parole Board of Canada on Tuesday, Emard, 42, was about to be released to a halfway house when the parole board received new information that caused it to cancel his release.
The new information “calls into question your personal security, other residents at the halfway house as well as the people who work there. Apparently, there is a serious risk to your security. This information was shared with you but, according to the notes in your file, you accord no credibility to the (new information,” the author of the summary wrote.
A copy of the summary released to the Montreal Gazette makes no reference to where the threat might have come from.
The parole board will hold another hearing within the next 90 days to revise its decision.