The owner of a high-end fashion boutique where a shooting rampage left two dead last week pleaded guilty Monday of breaching bail conditions.

Ducarme Joseph, 41, was arrested the day after the shocking events, which police have described as a professional hit that may have been linked to a Mafia turf war.

He was picked up for breaking conditions from a previous assault charge, and was also charged with being in possession of a prohibited item.

The Crown is opposing Joseph's release for the safety of the public and wants to seize his $50,000 bail deposit.

Brazen daytime attack

On Thursday afternoon, masked gunmen burst into his Old Montreal store on St. Jacques St., opening fire as Joseph escaped out a back exit.

Store manager Jean Gaston and Joseph's bodyguard Peter Christopoulos were both fatally shot. A second bodyguard, Frederic Louis, was shot, as was an innocent bystander doing electrical work.

In the hours that followed

Barely 90 minutes after the shooting, police said they saw Joseph with an alleged hit man, nicknamed "Gunman," in St. Michel, and began around-the-clock surveillance.

Friday morning, Joseph was spotted inside a restaurant in Notre Dame de Grace, sitting with two new bodyguards: Stevenson Fleurant and Dutroy Charletin.

All three were arrested minutes later in front of offices of construction contractor Tony Magi on Upper Lachine Rd. and not far from where Nick Rizutto Jr., the son of Canada's reputed Mafia boss, was murdered in December.

Reasons for Joseph's arrest

By being together, the three men were breaking their bail conditions in connection with a pending case on charges of extortion.

Police say Joseph was carrying a note when he was arrested that read, "Do we have pictures of the guys to be eliminated?"

The Crown argued Joseph, Fleurant and Charletin should have their bail revoked, claiming Joseph is either a target or about to target others in a gang war.

"It's not for their protection that we ask they be detained. What happened on St. Jacques St. made us think that the safety of the public could be at risk," said prosecutor Anne-Marie Otis.

"The possibilities are strong they'll hit back if they're set free," said Justice Gilles Garneau.

Joseph was a dangerous gang leader: expert

Street gang expert Sgt.-Det. Jean-Claude Gauthier, told the court how, as a leader in the Blue gang in Montreal, Joseph wielded extreme power, and even invoked his Voodoo beliefs as a form of protection.

"Ducarme was one of the most dangerous street-gang leaders in Montreal,"said Gauthier.

With files from the Canadian Press.