Drone deliveries to prisons: three groups targeted by the police

Police forces suspect that a trio of criminal organizations revolving around the Hells Angels and street gangs are controlling drone deliveries to Quebec prisons and penitentiaries where they have become a scourge.

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This is what we learn from police documents in which these tapes are listed and to which our Investigation Office had access.

Among more than 80 criminal groups listed in Quebec in 2021, the following three would be the only ones associated with this phenomenon.

  • The Maigar clan, led by members of a family residing in the Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle sector.
  • The Célestin group, from street gangs of blue allegiance, present in downtown Montreal.
  • The Daley group, based in the Quebec region and close to bikers.

The Maigar clan, known to police for dealing with several other criminal organizations, was until recently the most active in this area.


Seizure of drugs and a cell phone equipped with a SIM card valued at nearly $ 28,000 which were delivered by drone to Cowansville Institution in October 2021.

Courtesy photo

Seizure of drugs and a cell phone equipped with a SIM card valued at nearly $ 28,000 which were delivered by drone to Cowansville Institution in October 2021.

But several of its members find themselves accused of having organized a series of drone deliveries in four provincial prisons (Bordeaux, Rivière-des-Prairies, Sorel and Sherbrooke) and two federal penitentiaries (Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines and Cowansville). last year.

Precursors

The other two gangs identified in this scheme are closely linked to the Hells Angels, which control the drug market in Quebec, as well as to street gangs.


Tobacco and hashish transported by drone were also found by authorities at Cowansville Institution.

Courtesy photo

Tobacco and hashish transported by drone were also found by authorities at Cowansville Institution.

In Montreal, the group led by gang leader Jean-Philippe Célestin is said to be one of the forerunners of drone delivery in prisons.


Various objects intercepted by correctional officers which were delivered by drone to prisons in Quebec.  In the photo you can see headphones, tobacco, cannabis and hashish.

Courtesy photo

Various objects intercepted by correctional officers which were delivered by drone to prisons in Quebec. In the photo you can see headphones, tobacco, cannabis and hashish.

In 2017, Célestin would have orchestrated the implementation of this method of supply while he controlled drug trafficking and tobacco at Rivière-des-Prairies prison where he was detained for gangsterism, according to the authorities.

Donnacona

In Quebec, it is the gang led by an ex-member of the street gang 187, Philippe-Emmanuel Daley, that the police suspect of using drones to deliver to prison, in addition to acting as men hand of the Hells.

Daley, who was previously incarcerated at Donnacona maximum security penitentiary after a conviction for attempted murder, is the ex-son-in-law of Alain Ruest, a former president of the Quebec chapter of the Hells Angels.


The above items were delivered by drone to Donnacona Maximum Security Penitentiary in September 2021.

Courtesy photo

The above items were delivered by drone to Donnacona Maximum Security Penitentiary in September 2021.

Ten times more expensive

On November 11, The newspaper reported that drone deliveries are now almost daily in our prisons where correctional officers intercepted more than 350 in 2020.

Smugglers even deliver knives and brass knuckles in addition to drugs, tobacco, medicine and cell phones.

Some federal penitentiaries in Quebec acquired in 2021 sophisticated technology allowing their officers to detect the presence on their territory of any drone weighing more than 250 grams and to know the exact starting point by geolocation.

– With Marc Sandreschi

How much is it worth in prison?

  • A cell phone 1500 $
  • One gram of heroin 1000 $
  • A fentanyl bell 400 $
  • One gram of hashish 200 $
  • One gram of cannabis 100 $
  • One methamphetamine tablet 50 $

Well-known traffickers

The Maigar Montérégie clan


Shane Maigar, pictured in 2001.

Photo d’archives

Shane Maigar, pictured in 2001.

  • Active in the production, trafficking and export of cannabis.
  • Father and alleged clan leader John Magda Maigar, 76, and his sons Shane, 45, and Steven, 41, as well as his grandson, Kevin Chouinard-Maigar, 27, were arrested by the Sûreté du Québec last March in Operation Quadrimoteur and are accused in relation to deliveries by drone in prison.
  • In 2011, Steven Maigar was extradited to New York State and sentenced to four years in prison after he found himself guilty of exporting 200 kilograms of cannabis there.

The Daley Quebec group


Philippe-Emmanuel Daley during his arrest in July 2010.

Photo d’archives

Philippe-Emmanuel Daley during his arrest in July 2010.

  • Involved in methamphetamine trafficking, weapons, debt collection and violent crimes.
  • Its leader, Philippe-Emmanuel Daley, 35, was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2012 for having committed an attempted stabbing murder.
  • During his detention, he married the daughter of a Hells Angels before divorcing in 2014.
  • Since his release, Daley has surrounded himself with individuals known to the police for their violence and his group is said to perform various contracts on behalf of the Hells.

The Célestin Montreal gang


Jean-Philippe Célestin, a leader of the Blues close to the Hells Angels.

Photo d’archives

Jean-Philippe Célestin, a leader of the Blues close to the Hells Angels.

  • Also involved in pimping and drug trafficking.
  • The police say he is very present in Old Montreal, in the Gay Village, the entertainment district and in Émilie-Gamelin Park.
  • Its leader, Jean-Philippe Célestin, was jailed between 2015 and 2019 for leading a cocaine and crack trafficking network with annual sales exceeding one million dollars.
  • In the fall of 2019, the police warned Célestin that his head had been put at a price by another gang leader, Arsène Mompoint, who was shot dead on the Kanesatake Mohawk reserve last July.

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