The Quebec government has awarded a contract to a company that operates an illegal landfill and is owned by someone close to organized crime, our Bureau of Investigation has revealed.
The Société québécoise des infrastructure (SQI) has awarded an over-the-counter Location Tri-Box contract to bury pieces of wood and soil removed from the site of a future high school in Saint-Jérôme.
QMI Photo Agency, Louis-Dominique Lamarche
SQI does not appear to have done much research before giving the $ 33,300 mandate last August to the company of Roberto Scoppa, the brother of mobsters Andrew and Salvatore Scoppa, both killed in 2019.
A simple check on the Ministry of Environment website would enable SQI to know that Tri-Box was operating its landfill illegally.
Penalties and Notices
By January 2020, Tri-Box had already received a $ 10,000 fine for disposing of contaminated land on its land located in an agricultural area in Mirabel.
These contained more arsenic, zinc, fluoranthene and pyrene than the permitted limits.
“Since 2019, [ministère] sent three notices of non-compliance to the Tri-Box site for the disposal of contaminated soil, for the filling of a wetland and for the erection of facilities for the recovery of materials left without authorization, “said Frédéric Fournier, spokesman for the Minister of the Environment.
Photo by Dominique Cambron-Goulet
The remnants of concrete and brick are especially in its place.
In addition to these violations of the law, the situation is so serious that the department wants to file a criminal complaint against Tri-Box. “The file is currently in [Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales] DPCP for analysis “, added Mr. Fournier.
SQI admits that it did not check with the Ministry of Environment before concluding the agreement.
“This contract did not require a public call for tenders, and Tri-Box emerged as a company capable of reclaiming the land,” said Martin Roy, SQI spokesman. The contract stipulates the company’s obligation to comply with all applicable legislation and regulations.
“It will be removed”
Roberto Scoppa wanted to meet with us in the presence of his lawyer. During this interview, he admitted that he has not yet complied with the requirements of the Ministry of Environment since its sanction, in early 2020.
He blamed another company that brought him contaminated soil in 2019. Soil that was still on his land in late April.
“Everything that needs to be removed will be removed this year. All crushed stone, the rest [sols] contaminated, argued Mr. Scoppa. Do I still accept such concrete things? Nr. »
Asked if he had received concrete or brick since the fine from the ministry, Mr. Scoppa replied, “Maybe one or two trucks we couldn’t turn.”
He also disputes the ministry’s claims about wetlands and ensures that he has the right to crush concrete and bricks on site, to use them as the basis of a road on which trucks move.
– In collaboration with Eric Thibault
The two co-founders of Location Tri-Box, Roberto Scoppa and Jonathan Borbely, were also involved in another controversial landfill company, Kanesatake-based G&R Recyclage.
Scoppa and Borbely were partners there in 2015, a few months before founding Tri-Box.
The owners of G&R Recyclage, brothers Gary and Robert Gabriel, have numerous criminal records dating back to the 1980s.
In particular, they received prison sentences in 2006 for being key actors in the riots that followed the burning of the home of Grand Chief James Gabriel and the abduction of 67 Mohawk Nation police officers.
In 2009, Gary Gabriel was also caught in an anti-organized crime drug trafficking. Hundreds of cannabis plants and several weapons were seized.
Most recently, last July, Gary Gabriel was talking in his cannabis clinic with gang leader Arsène Mompoint when the latter was shot dead.
Roberto Scoppa said he did not know the Gabriel brothers “at all” before joining G&R.
Roberto Scoppa (right) with his brother Andrew during a police tail in 2015.
“I did not know they were criminals. I knew Jonathan Borbel, who brought me to his father [NDLR Stephen Borbely, un autre associé de G&R] who persuaded me to buy 10% at his company. »
Mr Scoppa says he “never had any contact” with the Gabriel brothers, except when he decided to leave the company because he was not making any money. He claims to have left G&R in 2017.
In 2020, the G&R Recycling license was revoked by the ministry. History made a fuss.
‘Black water’ flowing from waste mountains was being released directly into the untreated environment, reports presslast fall.
During a visit in 2020, one of the construction associates also mentioned to the inspectors “that they are no longer welcome at the site of the classification center to conduct their inspection”.
Two well-known brothers
Roberto Scoppa has recently been in the focus of the police because of his family ties. He is the brother of mobsters Andrew and Salvatore Scoppa, both killed in 2019.
Andrew Scoppa was shot in October 2019.
◆ Andrew was regarded by police as the acting boss of the Montreal mafia between 2014 and 2015, shortly after the death of godfather Vito Rizzuto.
Salvatore Scoppa was killed in May 2019 at the Sheraton Hotel in Laval.
Vat Salvatore Scoppa would have ordered several murders, including that of mobster Rocco Sollecito.
Prior to their murder, police placed Roberto Scoppa next to his brothers in the Montreal mafia staff. In 2015, police surprised two meetings between Andrew and Roberto as part of his Estacade project.
In an interview, Roberto Scoppa admitted he had been involved in his brothers’ criminal cases in the past, but claims he has been out of it for a long time.
He claimed he had never spoken to his brother Salvatore “since 2011-2012”. “We fought to the punch and did not talk to each other anymore,” he said.
As for his brother Andrew, he initially said he had not spoken to him since 2013. “Since Vito [Rizzuto] he died, I did not talk to him anymore, because I saw things happen that I did not like “, he swears. He later claimed that Andrew approached him “several times” after that. “I did not want to be part of their business,” he says.
Our research also shows that Roberto Scoppa registered the Tri-Box, in 2015, at the address of a residence that belonged to his brother Andrew.
That year, the three Scoppa brothers had businesses registered at this address.
Roberto Scoppa explained that he uses this address, where his mother lives, because there he rents a room to store business documents, for which there is no room at home.
In Colombia with a powerful Hell
In January 2019, Roberto Scoppa traveled with Hells Angels Martin Robert, according to police information to which our Bureau of Investigation had access.
Photo archive, QMI Agency
Martin Robert is considered by police forces to be the most influential member of the Hells Angels in Quebec. Arrested in 2009 in connection with Operation SharQc, after a nine-month run, he spent five years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder.
Roberto Scoppa said it was a coincidence that he ended up in the same hotel with Robert Hells, in Cartagena, Colombia. He explained that he was resting there with his family.
“I was not on the same plane with this man. I just saw him eating at the table next door and I told my wife that he looked like the boy on TV. We googled her and she said it was him. So I told him that every time he came we would change the tables. I do not want to associate with him because they are the ones who are against my brothers. »
Mr Scoppa claimed that in 2019 he had not had contact with his brothers for years.
“I will certainly not go there with him [Martin Robert] ? Are you crazy? It was when the war [entre différents clans du crime organisé] started and I will sit with someone who is related to other people? Think a little? »
Roberto Scoppa pleaded guilty to no less than 12 offenses in 1990 and 2000, in six different cases.
These include possession of drugs (including cocaine and heroin) and possession of devices to illegally intercept communications.
In one of these cases, the judge even banned him from possessing several weapons.