|A brazen murder of a suspected smuggler linked to the Hells Angels is being interpreted as the latest sign that Quebec's most notorious biker gang is making a comeback. Sylvain Éthier was gunned down Thursday night as he was leaving his home in Sainte-Thérèse. Shortly after the murder, a burned-out car was found in Sainte-Adele. This approach is similar to the one commonly used by criminal bikers during the settling of accounts. It's believed his death is part of a cleanup within the Hells Angels. Éthier was arrested in March in operation Mygale and was accused of being a ringleader of a contraband tobacco ring.|
Sylvain Éthier, 51
|70 raids were conducted in and around Montreal, on the Montreal-area reserve of Kahnawake and on the Ontario reserve of Six Nations. Police say the individuals would buy tobacco in the United States and import it illegally before selling it on the two reserves.|
Police confiscated 52,800 kilograms of tobacco, $1.5 million in Canadian cash, $3 million U.S., cocaine, methamphetamines, cannabis and fentanyl. The organization imported more than two million kilograms of tobacco and defrauded authorities of $540 million in revenue.
|Police say the gang is strengthening its grip on Montreal's drug trade in a way that emulates methods used by the Mafia.
"They are doing what the Mafia do: they now are relocating their territory to other people who receive cuts from the drug trafficking on that territory"|
The murder of Sylvain Ethier joins a spate of recent petrol bombings in the Montreal area. A company formerly owned by deceased mobster Agostino Cuntrera, Food Distribution John & Dino, was set on fire late Thursday night. The attack is linked to three other incidents.