INFLUENTIAL BIKER ALL SMILES AS JUDGE ORDERS ASSETS SEIZED
Top Hells Angel; One Year Added To -Year Sentence
The smile on Normand Robitaille's face seemed to suggest losing half a million bucks was no skin off his nose.
The influential member of the Hells Angels Nomad chapter learned yesterday $500,000 worth of cash and investments he made with drug money will be seized by the province.
If that wasn't bad enough, he was also fined $49,000 for assets the police could not recover, like his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He also had an extra year tacked on to the 20-year sentence he received in 2003 for conspiring to traffic in drugs and kill members of rival gangs like the Rock Machine during the biker war.
The seizure order includes $199,980 in cash the police seized in Candiac at one of Robitaille's houses.
Judging by Robitaille's expression, the decision to seize some of his assets appeared to be simply the cost of doing business for the bikers. He was all smiles in the prisoner's dock as Justice Rejean Paul read excerpts from his decision at the Montreal courthouse. When it was over, Robitaille got up and shook hands with his lawyers, congratulating them.
Robitaille, who became a full-patch member of the Nomad chapter in 1998, and his wife, lawyer Anne-Sophie Bedard, managed to keep their home in La Prairie. Robitaille bought the house in 1993, but Bedard took it over in 1995. The province was also unable to confiscate other buildings believed to be owned by Robitaille.
But the Superior Court judge described Robitaille's management company, Cogesma, as a money-laundering vehicle. He ordered the confiscation of more than $100,000 Robitaille invested into five companies through Cogesma, including the Red Lite after hours club in Laval.
Robitaille, 36, and most of the other member of the Hells Angels Nomad chapter were arrested on March 28, 2001, in a huge roundup of bikers.
During the trials that followed, it was revealed that the Nomad chapter controlled a vast drug-trafficking network that generated $111 million in revenue from March 30, 1999, to Dec. 19, 2000, alone.
Robitaille was a close associate of the chapter's president, Maurice (Mom) Boucher, who is currently serving life sentences for ordering the deaths of two prison guards.
Evidence also indicated Robitaille had enough clout within the Hells Angels to hold meetings with members of the Mafia in 2000, where the price of a kilo of cocaine on the streets of Montreal was set at $50,000.
Robitaille made the announcement to members of the Hells Angels puppet gang, the Rockers, in July 2000, shortly after he was seen by police holding a long meeting with Vito Rizzuto, the reputed head of the Montreal Mafia, at a Montreal restaurant.