|The Death Riders/Rockers North|
| The Death Riders have been active in Laval since the early 1980's. Like most criminal organizations, the group started off as a small street gang. They hung out in Laval bars and made most of their money from robberies and drugs. The group slowly expanded and took over a chunk of Laval's lucrative drug market.
The organization's success caught the eye of the World's largest motorcycle gang - the Hells Angels. The gang was courted and became the Hells Angels puppet club in that part of Quebec. The Death Riders would sell their drugs and so their dirty work.
| The take over became absolute on May 4, 1987 when the President of the Death Riders, Martin Huneault, was shot to death in a Laval bar. No one was ever arrested for the murder, but just hours after Huneault's funeral, Death Riders Mario Martin and André Richard were seen meeting with Hells Angels Maurice "Mom" Boucher and Normand "Biff" Hamel. Boucher and Hamel received their colours after the incident and Huneault's murder allowed the Hells to completely take over drug trafficking in Laval and the lower Laurentians area. Hells Angels member Michael "L'Animal" Lajoie-Smith was assigned by the organization to watch over the Death Riders and make sure business was conducted correctly.
On the morning of September 20, 1994, thirty police officers raided the Death Riders' clubhouse, on Boulevard Desjardins, in Sainte-Thérese. Police seized five Harvey Davidson motorcycles, a sawed off shotgun, three hunting rifles with telescopes, an automobile, machetes, a pair of brass knuckles, and 24 grams of marijuana.
The Death Riders were hit hard on October 13, 1995, when Laval police and the Sureté du Quebec ended a seven-month investigation and raided five homes and a Laval bar run by the gang. Police arrested six men and three women, and seized 3.5 kilograms of cocaine, 28 kilograms of hashish, one kilogram of marijuana, two firearms, and $20,000 in cash.
The gang's godfather, Michael Lajoie-Smith, pleaded guilty on August 30, 1996 to plotting to bomb the Le Gascon stripclub in Lachenaie. Martin "Satan" Lacroix testified that Lajoie-Smith had given him $400 to plant a bomb in the establishment. On December 5, Lajoie-Smith pleased guilty to the brutal beating of Alain Cadieux in the Le Marsolais Bar in Cartierville, dooming the man to live the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Lajoie-Smith was sentenced to six years in prison and Hells Angel Scott Steinert replaced him as the new Death Riders godfather.
On May 8, 1997, Mario Martin, at the age 32, was found dead in his Laval home. Police concluded that he has committed suicide. Martin, who had been one of the two Death Riders that met with "Mom" Boucher and "Biff" Hamel after Huneault's death, had quit the gang and entered a detoxification centre to fight his drug problem. At the time of of his death, Martin had worked his way back into the organization and was in his striking period.
Nearly one month later, Richard Pilote, a Death Riders associate, was arrested while driving a friend's car. Inside the vehicle, police found 13 kilos of hashish, worth $335 thousand, as well as 435 small bottles of liquid hash. Pilote was also carrying $3200 in his pocket. Armed with a search warrant, police proceeded to search the suspect's Sainte-Thérese home. Within the walls, police found 9 more kilos of hashish, worth $232 thousand, and 418 grams of cocaine, value at $41 thousand.
On October 1, 1997, the body of Bernard Guidon, another of the gang's associates, was found in his car shortly after midnight by a motorist. Police found the victim's vehicle still running and his foot still on the brake pedal.
Scott Steinert, the Death Rider's second godfather, didn't keep his position long, as he and his bodyguard Donald Magnusen were brutally murdered on November 4, 1997. Both men were beaten to death with hammers, wrapped in plastic, and dumped in the St. Lawrence Seaway.
On May 20, 1998, The Sureté du Quebec dismantled a Hells Angels connected drug ring headed by Death Rider Alain Jannard and Hells Angels associate Pierre Rossignol. 26 individuals were arrested and police seized nearly 15 million dollars in drugs and property.
On Marche 16, 1999, Death Riders sympathizer Stéphane Catellier was discovered murdered in his Sainte-Sophie home. Catellier frequented the gang's Sainte-Thérese clubhouse and was often seen with member Robert Diotte. No signs of a forced entry were found, leading police to believe that the victim may have known his killer.
One week later, another man linked to the gang, 52 year old Francois Latour, was gunned down. Latour arrived at his business, accompanied by his wife and two employees, and was ambushed by two armed assailants. The perpetrators ordered the passangers out of the vehicle, blinded them with pepper spray, and murdered Latour in front of his wife.
On April 17, 2000, Normand "Biff" Hamel drove his wife and son to a pediatrician's office on St. Martin Boulevard in Laval. As he left the building, two armed men chased him through the parking lot and shot him in the head. Stephane "Fesses" Plouffe and Benoit Frenette - both of the Montreal Chapter of the Hells Angels - have allegedly become the club's new godfathers.
With Hamel's death, the Death Riders became the Rockers North Chapter and moved into a new clubhouse in Blainville, valued at $155 000. The organization continues, on the behest of the Hells Angels, to control drug trafficking in Laval and the Laurentians.