The Laval Police say they recently arrested Marlon Étienne-Lafontant, also known by the nicknames Rach and Flip. According to the LPD, Étienne-Lafontant, 29, is a member of the Flamehead Boys street gang.
The police force says that tip-offs provided by the public provided enough information on him to open an investigation regarding his alleged possession of firearms and his alleged involvement in drug trafficking.
The LPD alleges he is a player in drug trafficking in Laval-des-Rapides and that the street gang he is alleged to be involved with is linked to several firearms incidents in Laval this past summer.
In addition to his alleged criminal activities, Étienne-Lafontant is also known in the Montreal region as an aspiring hip-hop performer under the pseudonym Rach. His most recent recording was promoted with panel advertisements on the backs of Société de transport de Montréal buses.
At the same time, the LPD’s Équinoxe Squadron arrested another suspected gang member. Éric Simon, 19, is also suspected of illegal firearms possession. Both he and Marlon Étienne-Lafontant remained detained last week. Simon is scheduled to answer a charge of possession of a prohibited firearm during a court appearance scheduled for Oct. 12.
A 38-year-old man died last Sunday afternoon after his car collided with another vehicle whose driver fled the scene on foot along with a passenger.
Around 4:30 pm near the corner of Jaffa St. and Lisbonne Blvd. in Sainte-Rose, a black Honda Civic driven by the man was struck by a white Range Rover.
According to a police report, the occupants of the Range Rover immediately abandoned their vehicle and fled. LPD accident investigators were on the scene late Sunday searching for evidence that might lead to the suspects.
LPD says its strategy has cut down gun violence
Following a long string of shootings in Laval, many in public places, the Laval Police say they are making progress in fighting gun violence.
Laval Police chief Pierre Brochet told journalists during a recent briefing that the LPD’s work is paying off. According to Brochet, shootings are down by half, with 13 reported this year up to recent weeks, compared to 27 in 2021.
“This is a big change, and we are very proud of all the mobilization,” said Brochet. To deal with the gun problem, the LPD launched its Paradox 2022 project, which is a coordinated approach to dealing with local urban violence.
Brochet said that the concerted and proactive strategy the LPD implemented this year “has certainly contributed to the positive impacts we are seeing on the ground. This is not an end in itself, as the phenomenon is volatile, and our work continues. However, it is a source of pride for our service to see that our mobilization is bearing fruit.”
He said that improved tracking and surveillance of known offenders had helped cut down the number of gun crimes on Laval territory.
“What we did was identify the violent criminals and really put pressure on them,” said Brochet, adding that the criminals in question were known for frauds, thefts, gambling and drugs.
He said firearm-related arrests had increased slightly in Laval, with 29 this year compared to 27 by the same time in 2021.
While insisting that the number of shootings in Laval went down, he said police officers seized more guns than before, with most coming from the U.S.
Laval police say prevention and youth programs are part of their plan and they hope what amounts to a short-term strategy to reduce gun violence leads to longer-term results.
Nearly $52,000 raised during LPD’s 5th annual Heroes’ Challenge
On Saturday Sept. 24, more than 80 officers from the Laval Police Dept., the Montreal Police Dept., the Sûreté du Québec, the RCMP, the Gatineau Police Dept., the Canadian Pacific Police and others took part at Laval’s Centre de la Nature in the fifth annual Parcours des héros (Heroes’ Challenge), raising $51,250 from Quebec Special Olympics athletes from Quebec.
The officers took part in a 5-kilometre obstacle course involving 20 hurdles, while twinned with 21 Quebec Special Olympics athletes.
The money is going to be used by the Quebec Special Olympics to implement several sports and health programs for the benefit of persons with intellectual disabilities. Since the first Parcours des héros was held, a total of $176,250 has been raised by the LPD for the Quebec Special Olympics.
In addition to the police officers and Special Olympics athletes, a significant number of other people also got out to the Centre de la Nature to provide encouragement to the event participants.
Some of the other activities which took place at the same time included a demonstration of canine skills by specially-trained police dogs and their handlers.