Twenty-two murder charges have been laid against an alleged biker boss once tied to the construction company now involved in the renovation fiasco on Parliament Hill.
Normand (Casper) Ouimet has been wanted by police since 2009.Normand (Casper) Ouimet has been wanted by police since 2009. (CBC)The whopping litany of accusations was delivered in a Montreal courtroom against an alleged Hells Angels boss, Normand (Casper) Ouimet, who police had been seeking for almost two years.
He is facing charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, gangsterism, and a slew of others related to criminal corruption in the construction industry.
All the murders date back to Quebec's infamous biker war that reached its peak in the 1990s with frequent bombings, drive-by shootings, and victims' bodies being disposed of in burning cars.
Ouimet, 41, was arraigned in court under tight security Tuesday, behind a set of metal detectors and airport-style scanners.
The previous evening, police swooped in on a taxi Ouimet was riding in and arrested the suspect, who had a Canada-wide warrant out for his arrest since April 2009.
"It was a very important arrest," said Crown prosecutor Madeleine Giauque. "There's … 22 murders over 17 years, from 1992 until 2009."
The handcuffed Ouimet sported a scruffy beard and shoulder-length hair for his arraignment — a change from the poster issued by police in which he appeared clean-shaven.
Ouimet wanted for murders, fraud
The presumed head of Hells Angel's Trois-Rivières chapter faces two sets of charges — related to murder and fraud.
Ouimet's arrest warrant lists 22 murders that police tracked through Operation SharQC, a major biker crackdown in 2009 made possible with the assistance of a former Hells Angels member turned informant.
The other set of charges relate to Ouimet's alleged involvement in several construction firms.
He is accused of masterminding an operation that saw criminals take over businesses, mostly bricklaying companies, and use them for money laundering.
Ouimet faces charges of fraud, extortion, gangsterism and money laundering.
One of the companies he is believed to have been involved with is a family firm linked to Paul Sauvé, who won a $9-million renovation contract on Parliament Hill and is currently being investigated by RCMP and a parliamentary probe.
Sauvé says Hells Angels bullied him
Sauvé has said the Hells Angels finagled their way into his family business at a time when he needed quick cash to finish a major project. Then the threats and bullying began, he claims.
Sauvé has since lost the contract because his company, LM Sauvé, ultimately went bankrupt.
The problem-plagued renovation has become embroiled in political scandal and work has ground to a halt. A masonry company walked off the job last month and contacted police.
Sauvé has publicly described his general dealings with the Hells Angels, telling the Canadian Press last year that he and his family were threatened after bikers tried to squeeze his family business.
"I had taken some serious hits – cars getting rammed into, trucks burning, being told there wouldn't be a trial because there wouldn't be a body," Sauvé told CP.
"But the day the threats came against my 10-year-old daughter, I said, 'That's enough."'
Court documents allege Ouimet and others uttered death threats against employees of Sauvé's company between February and December 2006.
Ouimet was no longer involved with the company by the time Sauvé won the Parliament Hill contract in 2008.
Ouimet is due back in court Dec. 10.