Quebec drug war: alleged right-hand man of street gang leader arrested in Europe

Click to play video: '30+ arrests in Quebec drug war between Blood Family Mafia, Hells Angels'
30+ arrests in Quebec drug war between Blood Family Mafia, Hells Angels
More than 30 people have been arrested in Quebec during a sweeping police crackdown on a street gang believed to be behind a string of violent kidnappings. Mike Armstrong reports on who leads the Blood Family Mafia, why they are fighting the Hells Angels, and what police have revealed about the drug war – Mar 1, 2024

The alleged right-hand man of a criminal group’s leader was arrested in Europe, authorities said Friday as the crackdown continued on a bloody drug war in eastern Quebec.

Quebec City police said Roobens Denis, 31, was taken into police custody in Portugal on Thursday. New information allowed investigators to pinpoint his location at a Lisbon hotel earlier this week.

“As of today, extradition procedures will be taken,” police said in a statement on Friday. “If the request is accepted, the SPVQ will be responsible for the extradition procedure in order to bring Denis back to Canada so that he can appear before the courts.”

Police say Denis is “considered to be Dave Turmel’s right-hand man.” Turmel is the alleged leader of the street gang known as the Blood Family Mafia. Both men have been on the lam since last summer, according to police.

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In July 2023, Quebec City police issued a warrant for Denis’ arrest for drug-trafficking offences but he could not be found. Investigators said at the time that several reports appeared to confirm he had left Canada.

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Local authorities contacted Interpol to issue a so-called Red Notice seeking Denis’ arrest.

Click to play video: '18 arrested in connection to gang-related crimes in Quebec'
18 arrested in connection to gang-related crimes in Quebec

The arrest comes as the latest in a string of raids across eastern Quebec tied to a violent war over drug-sales territory between criminal groups.

The dispute had escalated between the Blood Family Mafia and the Hells Angels, according to criminologist Maria Mourani. The street gang allegedly gave the notorious biker syndicate a 10-per-cent cut of drug sales and had grown tired of doing so, she said.

Quebec provincial police said Thursday that more than 30 people have been arrested to date as part of a crackdown on the drug war. Charges range from torture and mutilation to drug trafficking.


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