Cold blooded execution style murders, attempt murders, vicious stabbings, beatings and drive by shootings.
These are but a small sampling of gang related crimes solved as a result of the efforts of committed Police investigators working Project Guillotine.
It all started in February of 2009 when members of a northern RCMP Detachment stopped a vehicle being operated by a high-ranking Indian Posse gang member. It was a traffic stop that would change the face of one of the most notorious street gangs operating on the criminal landscape in the Province of Manitoba.
Timing is everything in the world of Policing.
After pulling over the car RCMP officers were delighted to find a rifle and a can of pepper spray. Those seizures resulted in the arrest and detention of the gangster and further seizures of crack cocaine, cash and additional firearms.
The weight of the charges coupled with deteriorating relationships within the gangs infrastructure was all the long time thug needed to inspire him to pick up the phone and drop a dime on his “brothers.” RCMP investigators subsequently met with the man who provided information regarding a murderous reign of terror carried out by Indian Posse gang members between 2005 & 2008.
In the true spirit of Law Enforcement cooperation, RCMP Officers contacted the WPS and made arrangements to share the information and facilitate a follow-up interview. WPS Homicide Unit members eagerly accepted the invitation and immediately travelled north to meet the informer. After debriefing the informant, WPS investigators were astonished by the compelling information he provided. This guy was at the top of the food chain and was able to provide detailed information on almost two dozen serious crimes that included homicides, attempt murders, shootings and serious beatings.
The informant also provided invaluable intelligence regarding Indian Posse gang structure, hierarchy and leadership.
The information provided by the “ex-gangster” identified the Indian Posse Grand Chief as a hard-core gang banger known as Tyson Kane Roulette (24) years. Roulette was a charismatic thug who possessed a dangerous combination of leadership ability and the God complex. Roulette was a product of his environment, a ruthless philosophical street thug who believed in the law of the jungle. A man who relished in opportunities to order executions of rival gangsters, haters or even his own gang brothers.
“Sometimes the Lion has to eat the gazelle,” he once told an Organized Crime investigator as he tried to explain life on the streets of Winnipeg.
It was Roulette’s participation in the “internal cleansing” murder of the informant’s brother that helped tip the scales in favour of Law Enforcement.
Like the informant, his brother was a soldier for the Indian Posse street gang. The problem was, he had addiction issues and a tendency to screw up on the “missions” Roulette assigned him. His demise came not long after he made the critical error of calling one of Roulette’s boys a “rat,” something you just don’t do if you don’t have hard proof.
The writing was on the wall for the informant’s brother. According to the informant, Roulette told him, “That nigga knew what time it was, you play, you pay.”
On October 23, 2007, the informant’s deceased brother was found in a pool of blood in a vacant north end home. His body told the telltale story of gang retribution, blood lust and merciless overkill.
(As the case remains “technically” unsolved I will not disclose further information related to the killing.)
In the spring of 2009 I accepted an assignment to work in the WPS Homicide Unit as one of two (2) supervisors responsible for unit operations. The timing of the assignment couldn’t have been better. The Homicide unit was on the brink of putting handcuffs on some of the most dangerous, hardcore gangsters the City of Winnipeg had to offer.
Project Guillotine was born.
Project mandate – cut the head off the snake.
In the world of street gangs Tyson Roulette was a deadly anaconda.
The investigation required extraordinary cooperation and collaboration with the Major Crimes Unit, Organized Crime, Identification Unit, General Patrol, Missing Persons, Major Crime Analysts, Manitoba Justice and the RCMP. Ultimately, the complex, labour intensive investigation resulted in significant case resolutions and extensive prison terms for several major players in the Indian Posse street gang.
Once the gangsters realized the Police had “flipped” one of their “OG’s” (Original Gangsters) they started to cannibalize each other. The domino effect was astonishing to watch as the back stabbing and throat cutting process began.
One of the first cases to see charges was the execution style murder of Anthony Woodhouse (30) in September of 2007. Woodhouse was the victim of one of Roulette’s misguided “missions” to control gang turf. As nonchalantly as placing a call to order a pizza, Roulette instructed one of his soldiers to go and shoot a “hater” slippin on IP territory.
As Woodhouse stood on his mother’s north end porch, IP gangster Travis Personius walked up and confronted him with the usual gang rhetoric. “Who you down with,” Personius asked. There was no right answer, in an instant Personius raised his gun and shot Woodhouse directly in the head. It was a point-blank shot that killed him instantly. Anthony Woodhouse was found in the early morning hours by his mother after she returned home from a babysitting job.
Indian Posse gangsters Travis Personius, Tyson Roulette and wheel man Lance Myran were all charged with 1st degree murder in the callous killing.
When he learned his former gang brother turned on him, Travis Personius made a deal with Manitoba Justice to plead guilty to the reduced charge of 2nd Degree Murder. That deal meant he would provide testimony against the gangster who ordered the killing, Tyson Roulette. Personius subsequently received a life sentence with no chance of parole until he serves fifteen (15) years.
Tyson Roulette cut his losses and agreed to plead guilty to the reduced charge of manslaughter for which he received a life sentence with no chance of parole for ten (10) years. He also entered a guilty plea to a charge of attempt murder in an unrelated case and received a concurrent sentence of twelve (12) years.
(Charges against Lance Myran were eventually stayed by the Crown.)
The next gangster to fall was hardcore IP thug Adrian Young who caught a nine (9) year sentence after being charged with attempt murder after he shot a fourteen (14) year old girl and a thirty-three (33) year old man in the early morning hours of June 16, 2007.
Young was on parole at the time of the shooting after serving time for manslaughter in connection with the brutal murder an elderly man targeted for a strong-arm robbery. Young’s little sister was used as bait to lure the victim into a home where he was beaten to death.
Young would also catch a twelve (12) year sentence on an unrelated manslaughter charge he caught in connection with the RCMP investigation into the 2006 IP internal cleansing murder of Sheldon Anthony McKay in the Stony Mountain Penitentiary.
Three (3) other high-ranking IP gangsters also went down for the McKay killing;
- Raymond Chartrand – Second Degree Murder fifteen (15) years
- Raymond Armstrong – Manslaughter twelve (12) years
- Jeffrey Bruyere – Manslaughter eleven (11) years
(Charges were stayed against a fifth (5th) IP gangster who was already serving time for murder.)
Long time IP gangster Darrell Lavallee also got caught in the Project Guillotine web in connection with the confused shooting of an eighteen (18) year old man on July 13, 2007. Lavallee mistakenly believed the man was a rival gangster responsible for the death of his brother-in-law. In reality, the brother-in-law committed suicide with a firearm. Lavallee caught a twelve (12) year sentence after pleading guilty to a charge of attempt murder.
Unfortunately for Lavallee he wasn’t quite clear of the far-reaching impact of Project Guillotine.
On January 20, 2014, the WPS announced they charged Lavallee with 2nd degree murder in connection with the death of missing person Steven Pelletier. The charge comes exactly two thousand, six hundred and sixty-five (2,665) days (October 4, 2006) after Police allege Lavallee shot and killed Pelletier in what can best be described as another over the top senseless gang related killing.
Police spokesman Constable Jason Michalyshen advised Pelletier’s body was disposed of in a secluded area outside of the City by Lavallee’s gangster associates. Police indicate more arrests are likely to follow as the investigation is ongoing.
(As one of the former supervisors involved in the investigation I’m hopeful other gangsters catch murder and accessory after the fact charges in the brutal killing.)
Project Guillotine netted other significant results which include first degree murder convictions for the two IP young offenders found guilty in the March 2007 execution style murder of Thomas TT Phillips. Both offenders received adult sentences and are currently doing time.
The impacts of Project Guillotine were game changing.
The final chapter of the investigation has clearly not been written as evidenced by the murder charges recently brought against Darrell Lavallee. Unfortunately for thugs like Lavallee, there is no statute of limitations on the ultimate crime.
Police intervention in this case ended Tyson Roulette’s reign of terror and put the brakes on an out of control gang and a plethora of indiscriminate murders. There can be no doubt many innocent lives were saved as a result of those efforts.
It wasn’t just the head of the snake that was cut off, the investigation resulted in the destruction of the entire core leadership of one of the most violent, reckless street gangs that ever operated in the City of Winnipeg.
Project Guillotine was arguably one of the most successful anti gang investigations ever conducted by the WPS.
That, of course, doesn’t mean the Indian Posse street gang ceases to exist. As in any organization in transition, new “leaders” are only to willing to fill the leadership void created by the investigation.
In the mean time, Tyson Kane Roulette sits in his jail cell, doing his time, plotting his revenge, longing for his freedom, lusting for lost power and itching to play God once more.
Because sometimes, the lion has to eat the gazelle.
That’s just the way life is in murder City.