Public contract for an organized crime associate who operates an illegal dump

The Quebec government awarded a contract to a company that operates an illegal dump and is owned by someone close to organized crime, our Bureau of Investigation has discovered.

• Read too: A police officer falsified a court document

Société Québécoise des Infrastructures (SQI) awarded Location Tri-Box an over-the-counter contract to bury wood chips and earth taken from the site of a future secondary school in Saint-Jérôme.


Tri box

Photo QMI Agency, Louis-Dominique Lamarche

The SQI doesn’t appear to have done much research before granting the $33,300 warrant last August to the firm of Roberto Scoppa, brother of mobsters Andrew and Salvatore Scoppa, both murdered in 2019.

A simple query on the Ministry of the Environment’s website would have allowed SQI to know that Tri-Box was illegally operating its soil deposit.

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Fines and Notices

In January 2020, Tri-Box had already received a $10,000 fine for dumping contaminated soil on its land located in an agricultural zone in Mirabel.

These contained more arsenic, zinc, fluoranthene and pyrene than allowed limits.

“Since 2019, the [ministère] sent three notices of failure to comply with Local Tri-Box for having deposited contaminated soil, for having filled in a wetland and for having installed facilities for the recovery of waste materials without authorization”, said Frédéric Fournier, spokesman for the Minister of the Environment .


Tri box

Photo Dominique Cambron-Goulet

Concrete and brick waste are notably at your site.

In addition to these violations of the law, the situation is serious enough that the department wants to file criminal charges against Tri-Box. “The file is currently on [Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales] DPCP for review,” added Mr. Fournier.

SQI admits that it did not consult the Ministry of the Environment before concluding the agreement.

“This contract did not require a public tender and Tri-Box presented itself as a company that could carry out land recovery”, replies Martin Roy, spokesman for the SQI. The contract provides for the company’s obligation to comply with all legislation and regulations in force.

SQI ultimately paid Tri-Box nearly $55,000 because the amount of land and wood that needed to be disposed of was greater than expected at the future school site.

“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 the Environment since its sanction in early 2020.

He blamed another company for bringing him contaminated soil in 2019. Soil that was still on his land at the end of April.

“Everything that needs to be removed will be removed this year. All the crushed stone, the rest [sols] contaminated, argued Mr. Scoppa Do I still accept concrete and stuff like that? No.”

Asked if he had accepted concrete or brick since the Ministry’s fine, Scoppa replied: “Maybe a truck or two that we haven’t been able to turn around.”

He also disputes the ministry’s claims about wetlands and says he has the right to crush concrete and bricks on the spot, to use them as the basis of a road on which trucks travel.

– With the collaboration of Eric Thibault

controversial eviction

Location Tri-Box’s two co-founders, 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, just a few months before founding Tri-Box.

The owners of G&R Recyclage, brothers Gary and Robert Gabriel, have extensive criminal records dating back to the 1980s.

In particular, they received prison sentences in 2006 for having been protagonists in the riot that followed the fire at the home of Grand Chief James Gabriel and for kidnapping 67 Mohawk Nation police officers.

In 2009, Gary Gabriel was also caught in a drug bust against organized crime. Hundreds of cannabis plants and several weapons were seized.

More recently, last July, Gary Gabriel was talking in his marijuana dispensary with gang leader Arsène Mompoint when the latter was gunned down.

License revoked

Roberto Scoppa said he didn’t know the Gabriel brothers “at all” before joining G&R.


Roberto Scoppa (right) with his brother Andrew during a police chase in 2015.

file photo

Roberto Scoppa (right) with his brother Andrew during a police chase in 2015.

“I didn’t know they were criminals,” he said. I met Jonathan Borbely, who brought me to his father [NDLR Stephen Borbely, un autre associé de G&R] who convinced me to buy 10% of his company.”

Scoppa says he “never had contact” with the Gabriel brothers, except when he decided to leave the company because he wasn’t making any money. He claims he left G&R in 2017.

In 2020, G&R Recycling’s license was revoked by the ministry. The story made headlines.

‘Black water’ flowing from mountains of waste was being discharged directly into the environment without treatment, reports The presslast autumn.

During a visit in 2020, one of the site’s associates also referred to the inspectors “who are no longer welcome at the sorting center site to carry out their inspection”.

two known brothers

Roberto Scoppa was recently in the crosshairs of the police because of his family ties. He is the brother of mobsters Andrew and Salvatore Scoppa, both murdered in 2019.


Andrew Scoppa was shot in October 2019.

file photos

Andrew Scoppa was shot in October 2019.

◆ Andrew was considered by the police to be the acting boss of the Montreal Mafia between 2014 and 2015, some time after the death of godfather Vito Rizzuto.


Salvatore Scoppa was killed in May 2019 at the Sheraton hotel in Laval.

file photos

Salvatore Scoppa was killed in May 2019 at the Sheraton hotel in Laval.

◆ Salvatore Scoppa would have ordered several murders, including that of mobster Rocco Sollecito.

Prior to his murder, police placed Roberto Scoppa alongside his brothers on the Montreal Mafia’s organizational chart. In 2015, police surprised two encounters between Andrew and Roberto as part of their disapproval of the Estacade project.

In an interview, Roberto Scoppa agreed that he has been associated with his brothers’ criminal cases in the past, but claims to have been out of it for a long time.

He claimed to have never spoken to his brother Salvatore “since 2011-2012”. “We struggled with the punches and never spoke again,” he said.

As for his brother André, he initially said that he had not spoken to him since 2013. “Since Vito [Rizzuto] died, I didn’t speak to him again, because I saw things happen that I didn’t like,” he swears. He then claimed that Andrew approached him “a few times” after that. “I didn’t want to be a part of their business,” he says.

Our research also shows that Roberto Scoppa registered the Tri-Box, in 2015, at the address of his brother André’s residence.

That year, the three Scoppa brothers had companies registered at this address.

Roberto Scoppa explained that he uses this address, where his mother lives, because he rents a room there to store his business documents, for which he has no place at home.

In Colombia with a mighty hell

In January 2019, Roberto Scoppa traveled with the Hells Angels Martin Robert, according to police information available to our Bureau of Investigation.


Martin-Robert

Photo files, QMI Agency

Martin-Robert

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 nine months of execution, he spent five years in prison for conspiracy to murder.

Roberto Scoppa said it was by chance that he ended up in the same hotel as the Hells Robert in Cartagena, Colombia. He explained that he was on vacation there with his family.

“I was not on the same plane as this man. I just saw him eat at the next table and I told my wife he looked like the TV guy. We googled it and she said it was him. So I told him that every time he came we would switch tables. I don’t want to associate with him because these are the people who are against my brothers.”

Scoppa maintained that in 2019 he had not been in contact with his siblings in years.

“Surely I’m not going there with him [Martin Robert]? You are crazy? That’s when the war [entre différents clans du crime organisé] started and would I sit down with someone who is connected to other people? Think about it?”

twelve convictions

Roberto Scoppa pleaded guilty to no fewer than 12 crimes in the 1990s and 2000s, in six different cases.

These include possession of drugs (including cocaine and heroin) and possession of equipment to intercept communications illegally.

In one such case, the judge even banned him for life from owning certain weapons.

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