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Friday, 11 April 2008

Crack dealers alleged to have ties to the Hells Angels

At least 20 people are to be charged in court as a result of a police crackdown on a downtown drug trafficking network alleged to have ties to the Hells Angels.
The people were arrested yesterday after Operation Surface, a seven-month-long investigation into crack dealers who operated on major streets like St. Hubert St. and St. Laurent Blvd. Twenty-four people were sought on arrest warrants when Montreal police officers began searching homes in LaSalle and Lachine and tourist-room hotels where clients bought and used drugs.
"We have put an end to the operations of a trafficking network of people who claimed to be affiliated with the Hells Angels," said Commander Alain Simoneau, head of neighbourhood Station 21.Simoneau said the investigation involved work on two fronts: Uniformed officers from Station 21 maintained a regular presence on streets like St. Hubert to monitor dealers, while investigators from the drug and morality squad probed drug sales in hotels on the Main."Eventually it became clear the same network was operating in both areas," Simoneau said.
During the investigation, the Montreal police persuaded the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux to close a bar on St. Hubert St., believing dealers were operating there.The Bar du Quartier saw its licence suspended last month. Police said the bar was a public danger because members of rival organized crime groups were clashing inside it. Several sources informed the police the bar was controlled by the Hells Angels.Police also tied other violence along the street to dealing at the bar.Police officers seized more than $75,000 worth of drugs yesterday, including more than 2,500 doses of crack cocaine. They also seized $25,000.Those arrested face charges of trafficking and conspiracy


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