175 police officers including members of five tactical intervention groups, nine searches carried out in four boroughs in the east and north of Montreal, eight arrests; the SPVM has just dealt a heavy blow to a street gang suspected of being involved in several violent events committed in recent months in Montreal, including the murder of an 18-year-old young man in March.
“We are here and we will continue to be. Armed violence is the service’s No. 1 priority,” said Jean-Sébastien Caron, Major Crimes Commander for the SPVM.
His investigators, helped by colleagues from other sections, patrol officers, and members of tactical intervention groups (GTI) from the Sûreté du Québec and the Longueuil Agglomeration Police Service, suddenly arrested eight members of the Block 6 street gang (Anjou) all suspected of having been involved “from near or far” according to Commander Caron in the murder of a member of the opposing STL gang (Saint-Léonard), Khaled Mouloudj, March 19.
The latter was leaving his home on Avenue des Hérissons in the Anjou borough around 10 p.m. when he was riddled with firearm projectiles fired from a moving vehicle, a crime “prepared said M. Caron.
During searches of suspects’ homes in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Anjou boroughs, sleuths got their hands on “relevant” clothing evidence, from equipment used to steal vehicles and other evidence that has not been revealed.
At the end of the afternoon on Wednesday, the eight suspects were still questioned by the investigators but the intentions of the police are to release them pending the continuation of the investigation.
“The purpose of today was not to lay charges but it is a step in our investigative strategy. We have been working hard for a month to collect additional evidence to continue to improve the evidence on file,” explains Commander Caron.
The spectacular operation was dictated above all by the murder investigation, but Mr. Caron is aware that it comes at the right time, as the police fear an upsurge in gun violence in Montreal as summer approaches.
“Today was not chosen to send a message. She was chosen because we were there in our investigation. But yes, the operation sends the message to Montrealers and the gangs that we are present, ”says the officer.
The STL and Block 6, which would have already been at peace, would be involved in several violent events that occurred in the metropolis in 2022 and 2023.
This conflict could even be looming behind the video that circulated on social networks showing two 16-year-old Montreal teenagers being tortured in Toronto last January in a context, according to sources, of a conflict related to vehicle theft.
“These gangs are definitely involved in auto theft between Toronto and Montreal,” Caron said.
On April 5, investigators from the Multidisciplinary Team Dedicated to Firearms (ÉMAF) in the northeast region, which reports to the SPVM’s Organized Crime Division, arrested three STL members who allegedly intended to avenge the death of Khaled Mouloudj. The investigators, who thereby seized a pistol and several high-capacity magazines, may have averted the worst.
According to our information, a video flaying the Block 6 and highlighting the death of some murdered gang members was posted on social networks shortly before the murder of Khaled Mouloudj.
“It’s a long-running conflict that’s been fueled on social media. What triggered this? It’s hard to say. This is all the events of the last few years and the people we arrested on Wednesday are involved in several firearms events that have occurred in Montreal in the last few months, ”concludes Commander Jean-Sébastien Caron.
“This operation is very good news”, told La Presse a citizen of the Anjou borough who requested anonymity and who has lived for fifteen years near the place where the young Mouloudj was killed.