Paul Cherry • Montreal Gazette
A former motorcycle club member who told the Parole Board of Canada in February to ignore warnings from police that his life was in danger was assaulted while behind bars five months later and had to be treated in a hospital.
Jean-François Emard, 43, tried several years ago to revive the Rock Machine MC. An organization by the same name was once part of an alliance that went to war with the Hells Angels in Quebec — between 1994 and 2002 — over drug trafficking turf.
Near the end of the conflict the few remaining members of the Rock Machine decided to become members of the Bandidos, an American-based biker club, and their former club’s name disappeared. But in 2014, Emard suddenly emerged wearing the club’s name and colours and confirmed to reporters that he was reviving the Rock Machine.
Four years later, in March 2018, Emard received a 33-month sentence after he was convicted of having possessed a firearm and drugs while parading around in Rock Machine colours. The sentence included a 30-month sentence he received later, 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.
In May 2019, Emard was granted day parole, but before he could leave the penitentiary Correctional Service Canada was advised by police that they believed his life was in danger. No halfway house was willing to take the risk of having Emard as a resident and his day parole was suspended.
When Emard came up for parole again in February, he claimed the Sûreté du Québec lied about the alleged threats to his life because he is currently suing the provincial police over how one of its officers, Bruno Landry, assaulted him in a detention cell (Landry received a 60-day suspension). According to court records, the lawsuit was filed in 2017 and has yet to be settled. Emard is seeking $475,000 from Landry, the SQ and Quebec’s attorney general.
The parole board agreed to lift the suspension on Emard’s day parole during that February hearing. Weeks later, he reached his statutory release date, the two-third mark of his sentence, but the parole board imposed several conditions on the release, including an order that he wear a GPS-locating bracelet.
According to a summary of the board’s most recent decision made on Friday, Emard violated the conditions of his statutory release a few times. This included how, on May 3, his bracelet revealed he travelled 50 kilometres outside of the area he was limited to be within. When he was questioned about the breach, Emard told his parole officers his “chauffeur” must have misunderstood his directions while he was supposed to buy some home appliances while working. The “chauffeur” turned out to be a convicted criminal, but Emard’s parole officers decided the incident did not merit returning him behind bars.
However, Emard failed a urinalysis test a few weeks later. He tested positive for cannabis and his release was suspended. According to the summary, shortly after he was returned to a penitentiary, Emard was attacked by other inmates.
“Your injuries necessitated a transfer to an outside hospital. It should be noted that charges are supposed to be filed against your aggressors,” the board wrote its decision to revoke Emard’s statutory release.
Their decision was based, in part, on how on July 11, when Emard was transferred from the hospital back to a penitentiary, he was searched and was found to be carrying medication that he didn’t have a prescription for as well as a small amount of cannabis.
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