Investigation Resulted In 156 Arrests
A retired member of the Hells Angels who was key to the police investigation that has crippled the outlaw motorcycle gang in Quebec had nearly three million reasons to become an informant.
Sylvain Boulanger, 45, a retired member of the gang's Sherbrooke chapter who gave key evidence to investigators with the Regional Integrated Squads, signed a contract that will see him paid $2.9-million, The Gazette has learned. It is believed to be the largest contract awarded to an informant in Quebec.
Details of Mr. Boulanger's 19-page contract came from a source familiar with the Operation SharQc investigation and were confirmed through similar sources.
Madeleine Giauque, the lead prosecutor in Operation SharQc, was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Mr. Boulanger was recruited by the police in 2006 and had officially agreed to co-operate with investigators by June 12 of that year. The contract was signed on Sept. 21, 2007, and Mr. Boulanger received $300,000 upon signing. The contract called for him to be paid another $600,000 when more than 120 gang members and associates were rounded up last week.
Almost the entire membership of the gang's five chapters in Quebec face charges as a result of the investigation. As of yesterday afternoon, 24 full-patch members and another three gang associates were still being sought. In all, 156 people face charges in Operation SharQc.
Mr. Boulanger is also scheduled to receive four annual payments of $400,000 over the next four years, during which he will be expected to testify in trials that emerge from the investigation. A fifth payment of $400,000 will be paid out once all the court cases are settled.
Because of the trials expected in the near future, representatives from the Regional Integrated Squads are unable to comment on Mr. Boulanger's contract.
But a police source familiar with investigations into organized crime said using informants is necessary.
"It takes something very special to infiltrate a group like the Hells Angels. The police can't do it because during the investigation, an informant might be expected to commit certain crimes. We can't place our own people in a gang like that," he said.
Author: Paul Cherry
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 2009
Source: National Post (Canada)