The Winnipeg Police Service made good on their promise to lay further charges in connection with the 2006 gang related killing of Steven Pelletier (29).
Police previously advised that on October 4, 2006, Pelletier was standing outside a residence in the 500 block of Magnus Avenue when he was forced into a home and seriously assaulted by a male suspect.
The assault continued at which time the suspect produced a firearm and discharged it in the direction of Pelletier who died as a result of injuries sustained. The suspect, with the assistance of his associates removed Pelletier from the home and disposed of his body in a secluded area outside the City of Winnipeg.
In November, 2006, the victim’s family filed a missing persons report to police. An extensive investigation commenced which included a news release requesting the public’s assistance. As a result of a lengthy investigation by members of the Homicide Unit, with the assistance of the Missing Persons Unit, a suspect was identified and charges were authorized.
Indian Posse gangster Darrel Lavallee (32) was charged with 2nd Degree Murder due to his alleged involvement in Pelletier’s murder. Lavallee was arrested on January 17, 2014 while incarcerated at the Stony Mountain Institution.
After being processed, he was returned to the Institution.
The investigation continued.
Police advised there was a strong likelihood further arrests and charges would be laid with respect to the investigation.
On February 10, 2014, Police laid accessory after the fact to murder charges against Tomas Bell Francey (36) of Winnipeg and Ronald Allan Sobotkiewicz (50) of Winnipegosis. Francey was collared in downtown Winnipeg while Sobotkiewicz was arrested by RCMP in Winnipegosis.
(Per Section 240 Criminal Code of Canada – Every one who is an accessory after the fact to murder is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.)
Both men were processed by WPS Homicide investigators and subsequently detained at the Provincial Remand Center.
Police allege the men assisted Lavallee by moving Pelletier’s body from the north end residence where he was killed to a secluded area outside of the City.
Police would not confirm if any of the victim’s remains have been recovered.
Pelletier’s murder was the twenty-third (23rd) homicide recorded in 2006.
Darrell Lavallee was a high-ranking Indian Posse gangster who caught a twelve (12) year prison sentence for attempt murder. The case involved the shooting of an innocent eighteen (18) year old man Lavallee mistakenly believed was a rival gangster responsible for the death of his brother-in-law, who in reality, committed suicide by shooting himself.
Lavallee shot the man in the stomach as he was walking outside of his residence. The victim was rushed to hospital in critical condition but since made a full recovery.
The shooting would likely have remained unsolved had it not been for the efforts of an RCMP Officer who converted a high-ranking IP gang member into a Police informant. Part of the motivation for the informant could be directly attributed to the vicious gang related murder of his brother in 2007. When the informant made the decision to turn his back on the gang he essentially unpacked his suitcase and provided Police with detailed information regarding a laundry list of unsolved homicides, shootings and other heinous crimes.
The informant would subsequently become a central figure in one of the most successful anti gang Police investigations in the history of the WPS.
Project Guillotine was born.