Once a Hells Angels stronghold, now-deserted Sherbrooke bunker has been confiscated
Superior Court judge says compound helped facilitate criminal acts, including murder and drug trafficking
The last vestige of the Hells Angels' physical footprint in Sherbrooke — a compound towering over the road between the city's downtown and the borough of Lennoxville — was confiscated from the biker club in a Quebec Superior Court decision released Monday.
The decision, rendered by Justice Carol Cohen, hinges on allegations the buildings, which she likens to a "fortress," helped the group commit acts of organized crime, including drug trafficking and murder.
"It's clear that those who would go there wanted to be free from any prying eyes, to be in complete privacy," she wrote, adding the property consisted of concealed enclaves.
The compound, worth roughly $425,000, is the last of the club's "bunkers" still standing in Quebec. Its Trois-Rivières location was torn down two years ago.
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The decision focuses on the period between July 1, 1994, and July 11, 2002, during which it says the Hells Angels waged a drug war to expand its reach in Quebec's trafficking market.
Bulletproof windows, camera surveillance
Cohen rehashes past testimonies involving 24 members of the club's Sherbrooke chapter who, in 2012, pleaded guilty to conspiring to kill members of competing gangs as well as independent drug dealers who refused to buy from the Hells.
The property consists of five plots of land, three of which have "fortified" buildings on them.
It lists a number of activities members engaged in, including meetings about the state of the gang war, parties, "armed surveillance" and hiding both illegal and legal firearms.
It also recounts anecdotes, such as when a member was released from prison and crept into the property's surrounding woods to eavesdrop on meetings.
In 2016, Quebec's Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) asked the province's superior court to confiscate the "offence related property," which it also referred to as a bunker.
Guy Auclair, Georges Beaulieu and Richard Rousseau are identified as the Sherbrooke chapter's founding members, having created it in 1984.
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It's unclear when they established the compound, which they refer to as "local" in French, but the court document says they began securing it in 1997.
With files from Radio-Canada