The broad daylight murder of a former member of an outlaw motorcycle gang was the last straw for the police, who then redoubled their efforts to find the hitman Frédérick Silva.
“It happened at a gas station in the middle of the day, several shots were fired, with stray bullets, while there were innocent people. The Montreal police then decided to change their strategy,” explained Victor Melo Gomes, lieutenant-detective at the Montreal police, on Monday.
The investigator was testifying at the trial of Giovanni Jr Presta, 37 years, who began to stand trial for first degree murder, at the Montreal courthouse.
According to the Crown's evidence, the accused allegedly assisted hitman Frédérick Silva in the murder of Sébastien Beauchamp, a former member of the Rockers, a Hells Angels training club.
The murder was committed on December 20, 2018 in the borough of Saint-Léonard, in Montreal. Armed with three pistols, Silva then began to shoot in his direction. The victim was hit four times.
“One of the projectiles was fatal,” explained Me Antoine Piché, from the prosecution.
Vehicles occupied by innocent citizens were also hit. In total, the police found about fifteen casings on the ground.
The Lama brand pistol had been abandoned by the shooter.
The shooter then fled. According to the Crown theory, Presta acted as a driver for Silva, who has since been convicted of first degree murder.
At that time, Silva was already wanted for another homicide that occurred a year and a half earlier, as well as for an attempted murder of the mobster Salvatore Scoppa.
However, he had always managed to evade the pursuit of which he was the subject by the major crimes division of the Montreal police. at the cinema, but Silva had managed to flee.
The assassination of Beauchamp, however, prompted the police to redouble their efforts, involving the police division of organized crime.
“We then targeted three individuals [who could have helped find Silva], including Giovanni Jr Presta,” testified the lieutenant-detective.
A Ruger 9mm was also found at the crime scene. .
Dozens of days of physical surveillance followed, both on Presta and on other individuals. Each clue was examined, the investigators trying to establish all the possible links in order to find the one who was among the most wanted criminals in Canada.
It is within the framework of this search that the police were interested in a white Chevrolet Malibu vehicle with distinctive signs. It turned out that it was a rented vehicle, and that the owner had had a GPS installed in it.
And after verification, the authorities were able to establish that this vehicle had found not far from where Beauchamp was murdered on December 20, 2018.
In CCTV footage, investigator Melo Gomes says he clearly saw Presta refueling this white Malibu.
One of the weapons found had jammed.
The investigation to find Silva finally culminated in February 2019, when the hitman was arrested by the Tactical Intervention Group while he was walking his dog in Montreal.
Presta, for his part, was arrested a few hours later.
Presta's trial, before Judge Marc-André Blanchard, continues all week.
Recall that Silva, for his part, chose to become an informer and collaborate with the police, even if he was sentenced to life imprisonment.< /p> Got a scoop for us?
Do you have something to share with us about this story?
Do you have a scoop that our readers might be interested in?
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128