Six Timmins residents arrested after Coke-Ring Dismantled as well as Link to Servant Murder
Submitted by the RCMP; additions by Lydia Chubak Kapel
9/9/2004 5:53:00 PM


MONTREAL, September 9, 2004 - Yesterday morning, the partners in the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) conducted more than 52 searches in Quebec and Ontario as part of a major police operation aimed at dismantling an international criminal organization involved in the importation of cocaine into Canada. As a result of this far-reaching operation, the police have arrested 25 persons, including Raymond Desfossés.

During this investigation launched in 2002 in the Quebec City area under the name “Project Calvette”, the CFSEU partners found that Raymond Desfossés and his accomplices allegedly conspired to import large quantities of cocaine intended for the drug markets in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.

Last August 10, an attempt to import cocaine into Canada involving Raymond Desfossés failed when the US Coast Guard arrested, at the request of Canadian authorities, four Quebecers on board the “La Gabriela”, a 42' sailboat that was carrying a shipment of 750 kilograms of cocaine. This find represents roughly one third of all cocaine intended for the Canadian market seized in the last year.

Another attempt to import cocaine failed on April 22, 2004, when CFSEU officers intercepted in Sept-Îles 12 kilograms of cocaine intended for the Quebec market. Three subjects, including two sailors on a cargo ship arriving from Venezuela, were arrested.

Concurrently with these attempts to import drugs, the investigation was instrumental in establishing a link between the organization dismantled by the CFSEU partners and a murder committed in Timmins, Ontario in relation to a drug-related issue.

The name of the murder victim - Randal Servant - was revealed during the news conference. "They were just able to establish that there was a drug-related turf war or an argument within the region and that they were able to establish a link that was a cause of the murder," said Staff Sergeant Paul Bonhomme, Timmins Police Service. "Further investigation will be done."

All together, the police have seized cannabis, hashish, firearms, explosives, detonators and more than CA$885,625, US$114,499, 16 495 EURO, in cash during the course of this investigation. An additional CA$341,500 was frozen from various bank accounts.

The subjects have been arrested on charges of drug importation, conspiracy to import, trafficking in drugs, money laundering, fraud, possession of property obtained by crime and gangsterism.

The accused are: Raymond Desfossés (Trois-Rivières), Ulrich Mueller (Montreal), Karl Chicoine (Matane), Jean-Yves Duchesneau (Bois-des-Filion), Jean Sigman (Montreal), Gérardo Hurtado (Montreal), Brigitte Ricard (Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade), Éric Blais (Timmins), Isabelle Rochon (Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade), Sylvie Gravel (Quebec City), Tommy Rodrigue (Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade), Michael Lacroix (Timmins), Réal Bélanger (St-Marcellin), Sylvie Normandin (Quebec City), Claude Poisson (Rouyn-Noranda), Marguerite Lessard (Timmins), Denis Pelletier (Timmins), Maurice Servant Jr. (Timmins), Jesse Jacques (Timmins), Sylvie Trudel (Montreal), Daniel Lamirande (Montreal), Denis Ouellet (Montreal), Alain Guy (Montreal), Clément Gosselin (Montreal), and Diane Montplaisir (Montreal).

The investigation was conducted with the collaboration of law enforcement authorities in Germany, St. Martin, the United States, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Great Britain, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Thailand, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Chief Superintendent Antoine Couture, Quebec RCMP Criminal Operations Officer, praised partnerships and the exchange of intelligence as a mean to optimize results in the fight against organized crime. “Illegal drug trafficking is a global phenomenon with serious economic and social effects at the local scale. As traffickers find new ways to import drugs, we must also find ways that are just as efficient to keep a step ahead of them. This is why it is important for police departments and other law enforcement agencies to work in partnership. Project Calvette provides a good illustration of the benefits of integrated policing,” he said.

According to Richard Bégin, Chief Inspector and Director of Criminal Investigations with the Sûreté du Québec, “The preliminary results of Project Calvette provide striking evidence that police partnerships as a means to conduct investigations is a most effective approach in the fight against major criminal organizations.”

"This operation is an excellent example of the outstanding work that can be done when law enforcement agencies combine their expertise and resources to stop smugglers,” said Gilles Parent, Regional Director General of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for the Quebec Region. “These joint operations ensure the security of our borders and play a big part in making our communities safer," he concluded.

Richard Laperriere, Chief of Police for the Timmins Police Service, was extremely pleased with the outcome of this operation: “As Chief of Police for the Timmins Police Service, I am grateful for the effort put forth by our officers and fellow law enforcement agencies, which has led to a successful culmination of a lengthy investigation. I truly believe cooperation and partnership is the key to success. This multi-jurisdictional initiative exemplifies that philosophy. Even a mid-size community such as Timmins, 827 kilometers away from Montreal and in another province, can have a profound effect in dismantling a criminal organization of international magnitude. This is achieved through partnership and cooperation with our citizens, and the various stakeholders,” he said.

“The importance of law enforcement agencies working together and sharing resources is demonstrated in the success of this project. The cooperation was one of the keys that have lead us to this result,” commented Superintendent Ken Miller, Director of operations, North East Region, Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.).

“Once again, the Service de police de la ville de Montréal (SPVM) has joined forces with the CFSEU in the fight against organized crime. Recognizing the need to pursue the various criminal organizations, the SPVM is always eager to collaborate with this joint forces unit to curb crime, and especially so in the Greater Montreal area. We are pleased about being part of this project that has resulted in the dismantlement of a major drug smuggling ring that had ramifications at the international level,” said SPVM Assistant Director Mario Gisondi, head of Special Operations and Operational Support.

It should be noted that CFSEU Project Calvette is conducted with the participation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Sûreté du Québec (SQ), Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Timmins Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.). The Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of National Defence also took part in the operation conducted in Sept-Îles. The Laval Police Department completes the CFSEU partnership.

List of Accused:

Raymond Desfossés 54 yrs Trois-Rivières
Ulrich Mueller 63 yrs Montréal
Karl Chicoine 48 yrs St-Félicité
Jean-Yves Duchesneau 55 yrs Bois-des-Filion
Jean Sigman 51 yrs Montréal
Gérardo Hurtado 42 yrs Montréal
Brigitte Ricard 43 yrs Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade
Éric Blais 27 yrs Timmins
Isabelle Rochon 33 yrs Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade
Sylvie Gravel 42 yrs Québec
Tommy Rodrigue 21 yrs Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade
Michael Lacroix 30 yrs Timmins
Réal Bélanger 51 yrs St-Marcellin
Sylvie Normandin 49 yrs Québec
Claude Poisson 42 yrs Rouyn-Noranda
Marguerite Lessard 43 yrs Timmins
Denis Pelletier 42 yrs Timmins
Maurice Servant Jr. 35 yrs Timmins
Sylvie Trudel 40 yrs Montréal
Daniel Lamirande 35 yrs Montréal
Denis Ouellet 56 yrs Montréal
Clément Gosselin 63 yrs Montréal
Diane Montplaisir 55 yrs Trois-rivières
Alain Guy 46 yrs Montréal
Jesse Jacques 23 yrs Timmins