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A man who has helped the Hells Angels distribute cocaine over the course of the past two decades has been denied parole

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Paul Cherry  •  Montreal Gazette

A man who has helped the Hells Angels distribute cocaine in Montreal over the course of the past two decades has been denied parole, in part, because he is suspected of bringing contraband into the federal penitentiary where he is serving time.

In October 2018, Dany Cadet Sprinces, 49, was left with a three-year prison term after he pleaded guilty to charges he faced in Project Magot-Mastiff, an investigation led by the Sûreté du Québec into how the Montreal Mafia, Hells Angels and some Montreal street gangs banded together to sell cocaine in Montreal.

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Cadet Sprinces and his longtime associates — Gregory Woolley, 48, and Jean Winsing Barthelus, 41 — were identified as the leaders of a network that distributed more than 90 kilograms of cocaine to dealers in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough over the course of four years before they were arrested in 2015.

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All three men were once members of the Syndicate, a street gang Woolley created in 1999 during Quebec’s biker gang war, a conflict that stretched from 1994 to 2002, while Woolley was part of a Hells Angels drug-trafficking network. When most members of that network were rounded up in 2001 in an investigation dubbed Operation Springtime 2001, Cadet Sprinces took over as leader of the Syndicate and was part of a group that filled the void and maintained the biker gang’s control over drug trafficking on the turf the Hells Angels fought for.

In October 2006, he was sentenced to a four-year prison term after having pleaded to drug trafficking, conspiracy and committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal organization. He admitted he was part of the group, led by the Hells Angels, that took over for the gang members who were rounded up in 2001.

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Then, while he was serving that sentence, another police investigation revealed Cadet Sprinces still had an influence over drug trafficking in the city even though he was behind bars.

His apparent influence among Montreal’s criminal organizations contributed to the decision made by the Parole Board of Canada to deny him both day and full parole.

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“You moved significant quantities of drugs for organized crime while acting as the head of the sector you controlled. You have participated in this type of criminality for the past 20 years while you were a member of a group that posed a threat to public security,” the parole board noted in the written summary of the decision it made last week to deny Cadet Sprinces parole.

The summary notes that “while incarcerated, you have adopted a conformist behaviour on the surface. You have not required any particular intervention and have a productive job. However, you are actually considered a subject of interest for the preventative security department regarding contraband entering the (penitentiary).”

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Cadet Sprinces denied the allegation outright during his parole hearing.

Another reason cited for the denial was that Cadet Sprinces continued to associate with other inmates tied to the Hells Angels while behind bars, which included his taking part in “community suppers”. But, during his hearing, he insisted that judging him by the people he associated with was not fair because Correctional Service Canada left him no choice.

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He told the parole board that when he was about to be transferred to a federal penitentiary in 2018 to begin serving his sentence, his request to not be sent to a facility housing many men tied to organized crime was ignored, as was his request to not be placed in a particular wing of the penitentiary, not named in the parole decision.

Cadet Sprinces will automatically qualify for statutory release later this year when he reaches the two-thirds mark of his sentence.

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