Police arrest 32 in drug bust targeting eastern Quebec, New Brunswick network
A member of the Hells Angels arrives for a national gathering in Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu, Que., Friday, August 10, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec provincial police say they've arrested 32 people allegedly linked to a drug trafficking ring in eastern Quebec and New Brunswick.
The arrests carried out Thursday are in connection with drug distribution networks controlled by the Hells Angels.
Among those arrested were Eric Blanchette, who police say is a prospect member of the Hells Angels chapter in New Brunswick, and his brother Yanick.
The organization, known as the "Eastern Network," controlled drug distribution in the Lower St-Lawrence, Gaspe and Iles-de-la-Madeleine.
Police say 48 seizures took place last month in advance of Thursday's operation.
The arrests took place in more than 30 towns in Quebec and New Brunswick. Suspects are to appear in provincial courthouses in Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Perce, Rimouski and Quebec City. Police say four suspects are still being sought.
Insp. Guy Lapointe told reporters in Quebec City the network allegedly controlled sales and distribution of synthetic drugs and cocaine and paid a tax to the Hells Angels to operate.
Over a four-month period, Lapointe said the network sold $2.4 million in drugs and generated a $250,000 tax for the criminal biker gang.
Police seized six kilograms of cocaine, 232,000 methamphetamine pills and $640,000 cash in addition to 23 guns, three vehicles and eight Hells Angels vests.
More than 150 police officers were involved in the investigation.