Paul Cherry • Montreal Gazette
A man with long ties to the Hells Angels has been ordered to reside at a halfway house for six months as he continues to serve one of the lengthiest sentences delivered in Project SharQc, the investigation that nearly crippled the biker gang in Quebec in 2009.
Pierrot Lachapelle, 49, will soon reach his statutory release date — the two-thirds mark of his 11-year sentence. He was turned down for parole in the past and therefore automatically qualifies for a release. In such situations, the Parole Board of Canada is limited to deciding whether conditions should be imposed on an offender’s release.
The board recently decided Lachapelle should be required to reside at a halfway house for six months because his “movements will have to be watched very closely.”
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Another condition attached to the release is an order that Lachapelle not associate with people “involved in criminal or drug-related activities or related to a criminal organization like the Hells Angels.”
Project SharQc was an attempt to convict every member of the Hells Angels who took part in, and voted in favour of taking part in, Quebec’s bloody biker gang war. Almost every member of the gang in Quebec was rounded up in April 2009.
The investigation produced charges against 156 people, including 111 full-patch members of the gang. The charges involved how, between 1994 and 2002, the Hells Angels clashed with an alliance of organized crime groups, who referred to themselves as The Alliance, over drug trafficking turf across the province. More than 160 people were killed within the context of the conflict. Dozens of Hells Angels ended up pleading guilty to being part of a general conspiracy to murder their rivals, but most have since completed their sentences or have been granted parole.
Lachapelle received a lengthier sentence than most because the prosecution had direct evidence linking him to two of the murders carried out during the biker war. When he pleaded guilty to being part of the general conspiracy, he admitted he took part in the planning of the murder of Dany Beaudin, who was shot in St-Frédéric-de-Beauce on April 17, 2000, and the murder of Martin Bourget, who was shot at a campground in Granby on July 7, 2000.
Lachapelle now denies he played a role in the slayings and claims the evidence was supplied by an informant he calls a liar.
He also denies he is, or ever was, a full-patch member of the Hells Angels’ chapter in Sherbrooke. He only concedes he took part in meals held behind bars by people tied to the biker gang. But, according to a written summary of the parole board’s decision, “the information available to the preventive security department of Correctional Service of Canada (shows that) you are considered by your peers to be a member in good standing of the Hells Angels.”
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Lachapelle refused to take part in rehabilitation programs, and authorities suspected he was part of a group “involved in influence peddling, bullying and reprisals against other inmates on behalf of the Hells Angels, among others.” However, the same decision notes that while behind bars he has acted as a “moderator to prevent certain situations from escalating.”
Because of Lachapelle’s refusal to discuss his criminal past, he was turned down as a candidate at two halfway houses run by community organizations. He will therefore have to reside at a halfway house run by the Correctional Service of Canada.