Trois Rivieres demolishing Hells Angels bunker
The Hell Angels bunker in Trois Rivieres is being demolished.
The city seized the "clubhouse" from the group for non-payment of municipal taxes following a Quebec Superior Court ruling in May. Once the building on the property is destroyed, the land will be sold. According to Trois Rivieres Mayor Yves Levesque, the biker gang owed $80,000 in taxes and seizing the land was the only way to recuperate it.
Demolishing the house is expected to take three days using heavy equipment, while the garages on the property have already been torn down.
The value of the building is estimated at $357,000, but the crown prosecutor's office says keeping the building was out of the question.
Levesque, who was at the demolition on Tuesday, was very happy to see its destruction, calling the gang's bunker an eyesore that tainted the image of his city ever since it was constructed in 1989.
"Where they built their house here, it's the most passed highway in the city," he said. "So all the people that drive around the 40 and 55 passed in front of this so for us it was not good publicty to associate our city to this building."
The plot's location near the highway would be good for a commercial office building, said Levesque, adding that "Nothing can be worse than what we had before."
The building has been abandoned since Operation SharQc in 2009, which saw the bulk of the Hells Angels arrested and charged with a litany of crimes including murder.
Of the 156 people arrested in 2009, 31 were released because of unreasonable delays, 101 pleaded guilty, and 12 opted to stand trial. Three people died after being charged.
Jean-Pascal Boucher, spokesperson for the Crown, said there was never a plan to do anything except demolish the building.
"It's a symbol of organized crime in Quebec and it was clear for us that in our mind we had to demolish this bunker," said Boucher.