A man once tied to a Montreal street gang that clashed with the Hells Angels has seen his recent release from a penitentiary revoked after he was caught drinking in a bar with known criminals. Eric Semino, 35, was released to a halfway house on Jan. 31 after reaching the statutory release date on a 45-month sentence he received in 2011. The sentence came with his guilty plea to charges related to three firearms found in his apartment. That included a sawed-off shotgun Semino kept under his mattress. While the protection was illegal, Semino likely saw it as necessary. A written summary of the Parole Board of Canada’s recent decision to revoke Semino’s release reveals the Montreal police seized the firearms because they suspected he committed a series of home invasions where drug dealers were robbed of illicit stashes. The summary notes the police suspect Semino carried out the home invasions for a street gang, which he denies. Police sources have also alleged in the past that Semino was once tied to the K-Crew, a street gang aggressively involved in heroin trafficking in Montreal around 2006. The gang’s leader, 39-year-old Hasan Eroglu, was murdered in Pointe-Claire on July 5, 2007. The homicide remains unsolved. But at the time, police sources said Eroglu ignored warnings that drug trafficking turf the K-Crew tried to take over was controlled by a powerful organized crime figure. The dispute involved members of the Mafia and the Hells Angels. Two months previous to Eroglu’s murder, Semino fired a shot into the window of a bar on St-Laurent Blvd. while Normand Marvin (Casper) Ouimet, a Hells Angel, was inside. On April 29, 2011, Semino was still on probation from the sentence he received for firing the shot into the bar when the Montreal police raided his Aylwin St. apartment. That was when the police discovered the three firearms involved in his current sentence. The parole board imposed the condition that he reside at a halfway house because, they determined in January, a full release “represented an unacceptable risk to society.” The summary details how Semino initially appeared to serious about addressing what contributes to his criminality. Within weeks, he had found a job and began a program aimed at curbing his violent ways. But on April 19, he was “seen inside a bar about to consume alcohol. You were also in the presence of people who are (members of) street gangs known to the police.” His statutory release was suspended and he was returned to a penitentiary the same day. Semino asked the parole board for a second chance but a decision was made to officially revoke the statutory release (most inmates who have not been granted full parole by the time the reach the two-thirds mark of a sentence automatically qualify for a statutory release.) As a means of explanation, Semino told the parole board that he went to the bar to meet with his brother. He said he consumed too much alcohol and the drinks impaired his judgment when street gang members showed up at the same bar and influenced his decision to remain. The parole board noted that at the very least Semino admitted to having been inside a bar, a violation of one of the five conditions imposed on his release in January. Semino was also the longtime friend of Marilyn Béliveau, a former employee of Canada Border Services Agency who was convicted on ten charges filed in Project Colisée, a lengthy investigations into the Mafia in Montreal. Béliveau, 34, was working as a customs agent when she tried to help two Mafia-tied drug smugglers bring in a container of drugs. In 2012, she was convicted on 10 counts, including breach of trust, conspiracy and committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal organization, but served no jail time for the offences. During Colisée, investigators learned that Semino gave Beliveau advice and support while acting as an intermediary between her and the drug smugglers.
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