Paul Cherry, Montreal Gazette
Five men are scheduled to have a hearing at the Montreal courthouse after they were ordered detained following their arrests in an investigation of a drug-trafficking ring with alleged ties to a biker gang.
The five men were among 18 rounded up on Thursday by the Montreal police as the result of an investigation dubbed Project Nightcap.
“The network was tied to outlaw biker gang members and operated mostly in Plateau Mont-Royal,” the Montreal police stated in a release.
Of those arrested, four women and five men made brief appearances Friday before a judge at the Montreal courthouse where they were charged with a series of offences related to cocaine and cannabis trafficking. All of the women were granted conditional releases but the five men were ordered to remain behind bars until they can have bail hearings. They are scheduled to return to court on Monday to fix a date for the bail hearings.
The alleged leader of the group, Yannick Gionet, 49, of Terrebonne, was arrested in 2015 in a similar investigation also conducted by the Montreal police. He pleaded pleaded guilty to a series of drug trafficking offences and was sentenced, on Dec. 16, 2015, to an overall prison term of 33 months.
Gionet can be seen in a photo, apparently posted in January to his Facebook page, with Jean-Guy Bourgouin, 52, a former member of the Rockers, a gang that worked for the Hells Angels during the biker gang war during the late 1990s. When Bourgouin was a member of the Rockers he was specifically assigned the Plateau Mont-Royal as an area the Hells Angels controlled in terms of drug trafficking. He was sentenced to a 10-year prison term in 2003 for the work he did for the Hells Angels. He hasn’t been charged with anything related to drug trafficking since, but in March 2015, a recording device secretly installed by police inside the former law offices of Loris Cavaliere captured a conversation the lawyer had with Bourgouin and two street gang leaders who were under investigation in Project Magot, a probe into how the Montreal Mafia, Hells Angels and some street gangs had teamed up to control drug trafficking in Montreal. Cavaliere was going over the evidence police had already gathered at that point against Gregory Woolley, 47, a former member of the Rockers, who was the key middleman between the three organized crime groups.
Two of the men who were arrested in Project Nightcap on Thursday — Gilles St-Armand, 51, of Montreal and Jules Brisebois, a 70-year-old resident of Plateau Mont-Royal — were charged in the same drug-trafficking case as Gionet back in 2015.
St-Armand only recently finished serving the 6-month prison term he received last year after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and conspiracy to do the same. Brisebois pleaded guilty in the same case, in 2015, and received an overall sentence of 27 months.
The other two men who were ordered detained on Friday are Gérald Fetherstone, 66, and Michel Perreault, 49, both of Montreal.
The Montreal police carried out 21 search warrants in cars and homes in Montreal, Laval and Terrebonne during Project Nightcap. In all they seized 300 grams of cocaine, 2,000 grams of marijuana and more than $18,000.