SHERBROOKE, Que. — The Crown prosecutor's office in Quebec says the last known Hells Angels bunker in the province has been demolished.
A spokeswoman confirmed the notorious red-roofed landmark was torn down today in Sherbrooke, Que., about 150 kilometres east of Montreal.
The property had been empty since 2009, when a major police operation led to mass arrests and the dismantling of much of the Hells Angels' network in the province.
Members of the criminal biker gang fought a long legal battle to stop the building from being confiscated and demolished, but the case came to an end last April after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal.
Audrey Roy-Cloutier of the Crown prosecutor's office says the bunker was a symbol of Quebec's criminal past and demolishing it sends a message that organized crime won't be tolerated. She says the land has been evaluated at about $538,000 and will be put up for sale.
The bunker, which a judge once described as a "nearly impenetrable fortress," was the last known Hells Angels stronghold that remained standing in the province. Several others were demolished in past years.
"There’s a whole symbolism associated with those places, so demolishing sends a clear message to those who are considering getting involved in organized crime," she said in an interview.
She says the building had been damaged over the years and was a safety hazard, which was another reason to knock it down.
In April, the City of Sherbrooke declined to buy the building from the Crown, citing the asking price and demolition costs.
The city's website indicates the land has been rezoned as a natural area, effectively ruling out residential or commercial construction on the site.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2021.
The Canadian Press