Former Hells Angels crime boss Maurice (Mom) Boucher dies of cancer (2022)

The 69-year-old was in prison serving a life sentence for the murders of two prison officers.

Author of the article:

Paul Cherry Montreal Gazette

Publishing date:

Jul 10, 2022July 10, 20225 minute read Join the conversation

Former Hells Angels crime boss Maurice (Mom) Boucher dies of cancer (1)

When Maurice (Mom) Boucher was at the peak of his powers as a Hells Angel, he was the most intimidating crime boss in Quebec.

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But cancer isn’t intimidated by anyone.

The former biker gang member died Sunday inside a federal penitentiary in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, 40 kilometres north of Montreal. Two sources told the Montreal Gazette he died of cancer. After refusing to be treated for the disease for months, he was recently transferred from the Special Handling Unit, a super-maximum security facility, to another on the same property that can provide palliative care, both sources said.

“On July 10, 2022, Maurice Boucher, an inmate under medical care at Archambault Institution, died while in our custody of apparent natural causes,” Correctional Service Canada said in a statement issued Sunday afternoon. “At the time of his death, Mr. Boucher had been serving an indeterminate sentence for two counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, assault with a weapon and carrying a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

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“The inmate’s next of kin have been notified of his death.”

“The one thing I can say today is that it closes another chapter on the Hells Angels in Quebec,” said Guy Ouellette, the Chomedey MNA and former Sûreté du Québec investigator who was part of the combined police force that helped take down Boucher and the immense criminal network he built after 1994, the start of conflict between organized crime groups that lasted eight years. More than 160 people died during what came to be known as Quebec’s biker gang war.

Former Hells Angels crime boss Maurice (Mom) Boucher dies of cancer (2)

“My first thought was of Diane Lavigne, the prison guard he ordered to be murdered (on June 26, 1997). I had thought of her recently because it was the 25th anniversary of her death,” Ouellette said while noting that, until a few years ago, Boucher would have been eligible for full parole soon on the life sentence he received for the homicide.

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In 2005, after he retired from police work, Ouellette published Mom, a book about the notorious criminal. It was slated to be re-released in a few weeks, Ouellette said.

In 1997, Boucher was under intense pressure from police who were certain he was the man calling the shots for the Hells Angels in Quebec as they battled other criminal organizations for control over drug trafficking in the province. In an effort to intimidate the justice system, Boucher told the people underneath him to kill people related to it.

People who took orders from Boucher decided to target prison guards and killed Lavigne as she was heading home from work from the Montreal Detention Centre. Then on Sept. 8, 1997, they killed Pierre Rondeau and wounded Robert Corriveau by firing several shots into the bus the guards were riding in as they headed to the Rivière des Prairies Detention Centre.

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Stéphane (Godasse) Gagné, a Hells Angels underling who participated in both murders, became an informant and helped get Boucher convicted of the homicides and the attempted murder in 2002.

Lavigne’s death marked an important turning point in the biker gang war and Ouellette said the date used to serve as a reminder to him that Boucher would be eligible for full parole this year. But, as Ouellette noted, Boucher’s period of parole ineligibility was extended in 2018. An investigation into the Montreal Mafia and Hells Angels revealed that Boucher was behind a plot to have Mob leader Raynald Desjardins killed.

Boucher was sentenced to a 10-year prison term for plotting to kill Desjardins and the investigation revealed he still held sway among Quebec’s organized crime circles.

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Boucher spent most of his time behind bars inside the Special Handling Unit. He survived attempts made on his life and, according to a police source, he managed to talk with Vito Rizzuto in 2006, just before the Montreal Mafia leader was extradited to the U.S. to face criminal charges in New York. Rizzuto was briefly detained at the Special Handling Unit as part of a plan to have him flown to the U.S. as soon as possible after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear his appeal of the extradition order.

The source said a video camera recorded images of two powerful organized crime figures practising their golf swings in front of each other.

Boucher’s early years showed little, if any, indication that he would become one of the most powerful organized crime figures in Quebec. He was born in Causapscal, a village in the Gaspé Peninsula. When he was two years old, his family moved to Montreal, where Boucher’s father worked in construction as an iron worker.

As a young adult, Boucher appeared destined to be a petty criminal. At the age of 21, he attributed his crimes to heavy drug use. He was about to be sentenced for a series of break-ins and admitted he had already used LSD, cocaine and heroin.

Seven years later in 1982, the Montreal police began to take notice of Boucher as a police report noted they were keeping close tabs on him while he operated out of a brasserie in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

At around the same time, he joined an outlaw motorcycle gang based in eastern Montreal called the SS. One police detective who investigated the gang’s crimes would later tell the Montreal Gazette that Boucher did not stand out from the rest of its members.

On May 1, 1987, Boucher was welcomed into the Hells Angels as a full-patch member of its Montreal chapter, and by 1994 he had gained a reputation among Montreal drug dealers as a fierce competitor.

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He used his status as a Hells Angel to intimidate rival drug dealers to surrender their territory to him. When some members of the rival gangs, notably the Rock Machine, decided to stand up to Boucher, the biker gang war began.

Boucher’s power in the underworld grew when he decided to form his own Hells Angels chapter. It received a special Nomads designation, which meant it was not limited by geography as most other chapters were.

The Nomads chapter was dealt a significant blow in March 2001 when almost all of its members were arrested as part of an investigation dubbed Operation Springtime 2001. One part of the investigation that stood out revealed how the chapter Boucher created sold 1,916 kilograms of cocaine between Nov. 10 and Dec. 19, 2000 alone, for a profit of more than $8 million.

pcherry@postmedia.com

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Former Hells Angels crime boss Maurice (Mom) Boucher dies of cancer (3)

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