Cop and criminal

Benoit Roberge and Rene Charlebois were two men whose lives could not have been more different. One, a renowned police investigator, the other a biker and notorious killer. Over the course of the biker wars they lived parallel lives until revelations in the wake of Charlebois' suicide showed they may have been more alike than it seemed.

September 1995 - Montreal police, the Sûreté du Québec and the RCMP join forces to form the Wolverine task force in response to the death of an 11-year-old boy in the biker war. One of their key investigators is Sergeant-Detective Benoit Roberge.

August 1999 - Montreal Det. Sgt Benoit Roberge and Surete du Quebec Sgt. Robert Pigeon recruit Dany Kane as an informant. Kane dies one year later in an apparent suicide

Early winter 2000 - High ranking Hells Angel Rene “Balloune” Charlebois lures Claude de Serres, a police informant, to a remote cottage and murders him. De Serres’ bodypack captures the murder on tape but police do not ID Charlebois as the voice on the tape until later. He is convicted of the murder in 2001.

August 2000 - Charlebois’ wedding makes headlines in Quebecois tabloids when singing star Ginette Reno sings at the reception.

March 2001 - 2,000 police officers stage Operation Springtime in a series of raids that result in 138 arrests and seizures of buildings, firearms, cash and drugs around Quebec. The raids break the back of the biker gangs. Roberge is a part of this operation.

2001 - Rene Charlebois is sentenced to an indeterminate sentence for second degree, conspiracy to commit murder and other charges as part of Operation Springtime. He was a member of the elite “Nomad” group of Hells Angels and very close to Hells Angel leader Maurice “Mom” Boucher.

2001-2002 - Roberge is a key member of several police operations that together, destabilise the Hells Angels including Springtime in 2001 and Amigo in 2002 which lead to the fall of the Bandidos and Rock Machine. Roberge testifies in several of the Operation Springtime mega trials.

December 2001 - Benoit Roberge is called to testify before a Florida court that extradited Guy LePage, a former Montreal police officer who became a Hells Angels associate and was convicted of cocaine trafficking. Lepage is now in a minimum security prison in Quebec.

April 2002 - The Biker Mega trials, a result of successful police operations, begin in Montreal. Roberge is a witness at several.

2006 - Rene Charlebois becomes a source for police from inside prison.

2009 - Until he retires in August 2013, Roberge was frequently in attendance at the Gouin courthouse for dates related to Operation SharQc, an investigation that produced the arrests of almost every member of the Hells Angels in Quebec in 2009.

January 2010 - According to charges filed in 2013, Benoit Roberge allegedly begins leaking police information to bikers.

March 2013 - Roberge begins working for Revenue Quebec as head of the intelligence gathering unit.

August 2013 - Roberge retires from the Montreal Police.

September 14, 2013 - Sources confirm reports that Roberge been in contact for several months with Hells Angel René “Balloune” Charlebois, a Hells Angel who was serving a life sentence in a Laval penitentiary for murdering an informant. Roberge was allegedly meeting Charlebois in prison to sell him police secrets, and collecting payments to go toward a defense fund should he need it.

September 14, 2013 - Rene Charlebois escapes from his minimum security Laval prison.

September 26, 2013 - Rene Charlebois, on the run from police, commits suicide in a chalet in Monteregie. Police find breach the cabin to find his dead body. Charlebois leaves a third party a copy of his recorded conversations with Roberge behind with instructions to make them public if anything happens to him.

September 27, 2013 - The Quebec Provincial Police, The Surete du Quebec (SQ) is handed a tape that allegedly contains recordings of Roberge and Charlebois having incriminating conversations.

September 30, 2013 - Roberge’s wife, a prosecutor in Quebec’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau returns from vacation in Florida. She had been unaware of his alleged dealings. She had been involved in prosecuting bikers and is suspended from her duties though she is not suspected of involvement in Roberge’s leaks.

October 5 2013 - A new SQ recruit goes undercover with a “bodypack” to meet Roberge about the recording. Roberge offers to pay $10,000 now and $40,000 later to buy the recordings, lending credibility to their contents. Roberge is arrested that same night in the “Quartier Dix-30” in Brossard after leaving the meeting. He is charged with obstructing justice for the profit of a criminal organization (a gangsterism charge), attempting to obstruct justice by divulging information, contributing to the activity of a criminal organization (another gangsterism charge) and breach of trust.

October 10, 2013 - Roberge appears in court to be charged -- one count of obstructing justice, one count of breach of trust and the two counts related to gangsterism.

December 11 2013 - After changing lawyers 4 times, a procedural hearing where Roberge is represented by Mark Perras is held. A block of dates of January 8-9 is set for Roberge’s bail hearing. Bail hearings are normally a few hours but it is expected a request for a publication ban will be made.

January 8, 2014 - Roberge does not request bail. He remains in prison until his next hearing on January 23.

January 23, 2014 - Roberge’s case is scheduled to returns to court to set a and a judge sets a date for a preliminary inquiry. Between February 19-21 Quebec court Judge Robert Marchi will determine whether there is sufficient cause to send Roberge to trial.  Roberge was not present for the hearing.  A publication ban was placed on the discussions about the preliminary inquiry.