August 10, 2018 3:02 pm
Updated: August 11, 2018 12:26 pm

Hells Angels arrive in St-Charles-sur-Richelieu for annual gathering

The Hells Angels are holding their annual 'The Canada Run' in Quebec for the first time in a decade. File photo.

Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press
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Members of the Hells Angels biker gang and their sympathizers have begun arriving in Quebec for a weekend gathering.

Authorities ramped up checkpoints and their overall presence Friday in the southwestern Quebec region where gang members will be staying.

READ MORE: Hells Angels, over 500 bikers expected near Saint-Hyacinthe, police ask public to avoid area

The Canada Run, the Hells’ annual gathering, is being held this year in St-Charles-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal.

Authorities say some 500 full-patch Hells members and up to 200 sympathizers are expected to attend.

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Police were keeping tabs today on who was coming into the area before allowing them to proceed.

The gathering is being held in Quebec for the first time since 2008.

READ MORE: ‘The Hells Angels are the concern’: RCMP working to combat outlaw motorcycle gangs in Nova Scotia

The mandatory meeting for full-patch members is described by authorities as a show of force by the gang, with rivals and police the target audience.

Police say the 500-odd full-patch members across the country include 80 in Quebec where the gang is stronger than ever and controls between 95 and 98 of the drug trafficking market.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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