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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Guy Lepage, a former police officer now serving a 10-year sentence for drug trafficking


09:20 |

Guy Lepage, a former police officer now serving a 10-year sentence for drug trafficking, he was drawn into the biker's life of crime 20 years ago.
Mr. Lepage, 61, discussed his past relationship with the biker leader Maurice (Mom) Boucher yesterday during a parole board hearing.He was granted day parole, his first release since being arrested in 2001 and extradited to the U.S., where he pleaded guilty to helping the Angels buy large quantities of cocaine from a Colombian drug cartel and ship it to Florida in 1997 and 1998. He was transferred to a Canadian prison in 2005.Lepage was granted day parole for the next six months, during which he is expected to take part in community projects. He was accepted into a program working with the elderly, and said he plans to lecture at schools that teach criminology.
Mr. Lepage said that despite his important involvement in their conspiracies, he never considered himself part of the Hells Angels, but he did acknowledge being Mr. Boucher's friend."I don't know if it was his charm or something else. He had this charisma," he said of Mr. Boucher, who is serving three life sentences for ordering the deaths of prison guards in an attempt to influence Quebec's justice.Lepage, 61, discussed his past relationship with the Hells Angels leader at length yesterday during a National Parole Board hearing at a minimum-security penitentiary in Laval. He was granted day parole, his first release since being arrested in December 2001 and extradited to the United States, where he pleaded guilty to helping the Hells Angels buy cocaine from a Colombian drug cartel and ship more than 1,600 kilograms of the drug to Florida in 1997 and 1998. He was transferred back to the Canadian prison system in 2005.The drugs were destined for Montreal while the city witnessed a bloody biker gang war. Lepage was sent to Colombia by Boucher and other members of the Hells Angels to oversee five large shipments of the drug.
Lepage told parole board members Denis Couillard and Michel Pallascio that despite his involvement with the bikers, he never considered himself part of the Hells Angels. But he did acknowledge being Boucher's friend.Even though they grew up in the same neighbourhood in eastern Montreal, the two only met in 1987, Lepage said. At the time, Lepage was running a disco in Sorel and Boucher was beginning his ascent toward becoming the most powerful Hells Angel in Quebec.Couillard asked Lepage to explain how one can go from protecting society as a police officer to being someone who thinks nothing of breaking its laws."How did you go from one extreme to the other?" he asked.Lepage explained that the Hells Angels put him "on a pedestal" and made him feel important. It was clear his experience as a police officer and good name were valuable assets to Boucher."I don't know if it was his charm or something else. He had this charisma," Lepage said of Boucher, who is serving three life sentences for ordering the deaths of prison guards in an attempt to intimidate Quebec's justice system."It's hard to explain. (The Hells Angels) sought me out by giving me gifts, taking me out to dinner. It gave me value. It impressed me. To be frank, I never questioned it."After the two became friends, Boucher began asking Lepage for favours. One involved securing a mortgage for a building the Rockers, a Hells Angels puppet gang, used as a fortified bunker during the biker war. Lepage, who resigned from Montreal's police force in 1974 while a friend was being investigated for fraud, obtained the mortgage through a federal government program.Lepage also helped the Hells Angels set up a money-laundering network in northern British Colombia, to which he pleaded guilty in 1994. He was sentenced two years in prison and fined $200,000. He was given three years to pay, but so far has only paid $30,000. Because of this, in 2006, a seizure order was placed on real estate Lepage owns in St. Philippe, a South Shore town.
Lepage said yesterday that months after his arrest in 2001, he promised his family he would sever ties with Boucher. The only time he showed emotion during the parole hearing was when Couillard brought up an allegation concerning Boucher contained in Lepage's file. Couillard said a letter sent to Boucher after 2001 by another criminal included a mention that Lepage wished to send along his greetings.Lepage called the allegation nonsense. His lawyer, Jacques Normandeau, pointed out that Boucher is still kept in isolation at the so-called super-maximum-security penitentiary in Ste. Anne des Plaines and is only allowed visits by two individuals, who were not named.


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