Blue Line

Quebec City police make four arrests linked to violent conflict between crime groups

February 25, 2024  By The Canadian Press

Feb. 25, 2024, Quebec, Que. – Quebec City police have made four arrests in the latest in a series of police operations targeting a violent conflict between criminal groups in eastern Quebec.

Capt. Marie-Manon Savard said officers arrested three men and one woman early Sunday morning. Three of the suspects were scheduled to appear in court Sunday, while the other was released with a notice to appear.

“I can tell you that the people who were arrested today are people who are close to a top leader of a well-known criminal group,” Savard told reporters, adding that the group is known as the Blood Family Mafia.

She said officers from her force conducted two raids in the provincial capital Sunday, while provincial police conducted another in Lac-Aux-Sables, Que., about 90 kilometres west of the city.

Drugs, handgun ammunition, a bulletproof vest and a drill that may have blood on it were seized in the raids, police said in a news release.

Prosecutors said James Célestin, 39, and David Marceau-Maillefert, 34, were scheduled to appear in a Quebec City court Sunday afternoon. They face charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping and forcible confinement. Jean-François Dion, 36, who was also scheduled to appear in court Sunday, faces a charge of illegally processing ammunition.

Quebec provincial police said Sunday that they have arrested a total of 14 people linked to what they have described as a war over drug-selling territory in the Quebec City area, the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region, the Lower St-Lawrence and the North Shore.

Prosecutors said Pierre Karl Horkheimer, 26, appeared in court Sunday morning, where prosecutors opposed his release. Horkheimer, who is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 28, faces four charges including attempted murder and discharging a firearm with intent to wound, maim, disfigure and or endanger the life of a person, in connection with a Nov. 3 incident.

Also scheduled to appear in court Sunday were William Monger Gagnon, 26, who faces four charges related to the kidnapping, forcible confinement and aggravated assault of a 30-year-old man over a nine-day period earlier this month, and David Marceau-Morin, 36, who is facing charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping and forcible confinement.

The charges laid so far have not been tested in court.

Provincial police said Saturday that nine of the people they arrested appeared in court in Quebec City that day, where they faced a range of charges linked to the conflict between independent drug dealers and members of a biker gang. Four of those individuals face charges of kidnapping, forcible confinement and aggravated assault, while two others face charges including attempted murder.

Police have said that a man was killed and three others were injured in a hostage-taking Monday in the small community of St-Malachie, Que., south of the provincial capital, and that other people linked to the conflict have been kidnapped and tortured.

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