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Longtime member of the Hells Angels appeared before a judge

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A longtime member of the Hells Angels appeared before a judge at the Montreal courthouse Tuesday afternoon where he faces drug trafficking and gangsterism charges following an investigation led by the Sûreté du Québec.

Vincent “Gus” Boulanger, 50, a full-patch member of the Hells Angels for more than a decade, made the appearance through a video conference connecting the courthouse to a detention area at the Sûreté du Québec’s headquarters on Parthenais St.

He was arrested Tuesday as part of a roundup of other people across the province following an investigation by two squads led by the SQ; the Escouade nationale sur la répression du crime organisé (ENRCO) and the Regional Mixed Squad based in Sherbrooke, a unit that investigates biker gangs. A spokesperson for the SQ was unable to say Tuesday evening how many people were arrested in all.

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The Crown objected to Boulanger’s release and he will be detained until he has a bail hearing. The biker gang member was also ordered not to communicate with a man who was allegedly kept against his will and threatened in St-Jérôme on Oct. 6, 2020. The name of the alleged victim, a man with a lengthy criminal record, was placed under a publication ban during Boulanger’s first court appearance.

Boulanger does not face charges related to what allegedly happened to the man, but two other men arrested Tuesday morning — Mickael Lauzon, 31, and Yann Graveline-L’Écuyer, 37 — are charged with holding the man against his will and with extortion. Graveline-L’Écuyer was also ordered to remain detained for the time being.

Boulanger, a resident of South Shore St-Hubert, faces charges alleging he committed a crime for a criminal organization, drug trafficking and conspiracy to do the same. The crimes are alleged to have taken place “in Montreal and elsewhere in Quebec” between May 1, 2020, and March 17, 2021.

Boulanger started out in the Hells Angels chapter in Sherbrooke, where he was trained by a group of brothers who were also part of the biker gang. More than a decade ago, Sylvain Boulanger, a former member of the same chapter who became a police informant, provided the SQ with a breakdown of people involved in drug trafficking for the chapter, which produced the arrests of two dozen people in 2013.

In 2015, Vincent Boulanger pleaded guilty to being part of a conspiracy to traffic in drugs and was sentenced to a 45-month prison term.

Boulanger’s current case returns to court later this month for a formality hearing. The charges he faces, along with Lauzon, Graveline-L’Écuyer and two other men, are related to the investigation led by the SQ.

Lauzon was in jail in Trois-Rivières when he was arrested on Tuesday. He had been detained since 2020 and faces drug trafficking charges in St-Jérôme.

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