The release of the former leader of the Hells upheld on appeal

News 9 February, 2018
  • Archival Photo Chantal Poirier

    Éric Thibault

    Friday, 9 February 2018 13:36

    Friday, 9 February 2018 13:36

    Look at this article

    The Court of appeal confirmed the judgment of the procedures decreed in September 2016 in the place of the former leader of the Hells Angels, Salvatore Cazzetta, and three men of business and affairs of the mohawk reserve of Kahnawake, because of court delays to be unreasonable.

    Arrested in June 2009 in a case of fraud and tobacco smuggling, Cazzetta, Peter Rice, as well as two sons, Burton and Francis Rice, had still not completed their trial when the superior Court ordered their release following a request of type Jordan.

    This decision of judge James Brunton, the director of criminal and penal prosecutions (DPCP) has been disputed because it considered, inter alia, that the defense was largely responsible for the delays in this cause, has been upheld by the highest court of Québec, on Friday.

    In addition, judge Martin Vauclair refutes block the claims of the prosecution, “whose behavior has contributed to the overruns and delays to be unreasonable”.


    The Court of appeal agreed with the judge Brunton, who found that the degree of complexity of the file justified nothing the same time. And, even if this project of investigation of the SPVM nicknamed “Machine” had led to sixty arrests related to fraud of some $ 67 million to the State.

    It is “only” because the DPCP had laid a charge of gangsterism against Cazzetta to “connect the operations of tobacco smuggling to Hells Angels that the volume of evidence to be disclosed has increased” in this case, slice the judge Vauclair.

    However, the charge of “gangsterism” would “probably added nothing more to the sentence,” which Cazzetta would have been liable if he had been judged and found guilty, adds the Court.

    Three times

    Salvatore Cazzetta has up to now benefited three times of a stay of proceedings because of the slowness of the judicial system in Quebec. He had also been unharmed in the operation SharQc, as well as in the project Mastiff, in the last year.

    The biker 61-year-old, who was one of the founders of the Rock Machine before being welcomed home to the Hells in 2005, has, nevertheless, served forty months of preventive detention in relation to his run-ins with the law between 2009 and 2017.

    About the family Rice, it must now defend themselves in court against the Agence du revenu du Québec, which asks for $ 16 million in unpaid taxes and penalties on cigarettes that his company has manufactured and sold.