An unknown number of customers at a Winnipeg auto-repair store were secretly being recorded while they used the public washroom on a camera hidden by an employee.
Arcel Gagnon, 37, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the rare charge of voyeurism for incidents that occurred at the Fountain Tire on Warman Road in late 2011 and early 2012. He was given a two-year suspended sentence with probation, which includes sex-offender counselling.
Gagnon admits concealing an iPhone inside a jacket and placing it on a hook inside the bathroom for the purpose of videotaping. A male customer using the facilities because the men's washroom was out of order made the discovery last April and immediately notified store management. Unfortunately, the man also deleted videos on the phone, preventing police from ultimately determining how many people may have been victimized.
Gagnon was confronted and admitted to the offence, saying he did it out of "curiosity" and not for sexual purposes. He was promptly fired.
Gagnon was seeking a discharge Wednesday that would allow him to maintain a clean criminal record.
But provincial court Associate Chief Judge Janice leMaistre said a stronger message must be sent for this kind of disturbing offence.
"It would be contrary to the public interest to impose a discharge," she said.
Gagnon has written a letter of apology that was filed with the court, expressing his remorse. LeMaistre said the offence would have a "significant impact" on those who were videotaped against their will. But she noted there is no evidence the videos were posted online or shared with anyone.
Gang member gets 11-year term
A Winnipeg gang member who provided key testimony in a jailhouse murder case has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars for his role.
Jeffrey Bruyere pleaded guilty to manslaughter last year after justice officials agreed to drop a second-degree murder charge. He returned to court Wednesday for sentencing.
The case involves the May 2006 death of Sheldon McKay, a two-time convicted killer who was a prominent member of the Indian Posse. Bruyere, 35, and several other men were arrested in 2009 following a lengthy police investigation.
Last year, a jury found Raymond Chartrand guilty of second-degree murder for the attack, thanks largely to evidence provided by Bruyere. Chartrand was given a mandatory life sentence and his parole eligibility was raised to 15 years from the minimum of 10. Two other accused, Adrian Young and Raymond Armstrong, admitted to manslaughter and were given 12-year sentences.
Bruyere, 44, told court he stood guard and watched as the deadly beating occurred. He said an internal gang decision was made to kill McKay because of increasing concerns about his ability to run the gang.
Staff discovered McKay, 30, dead in his cell after he failed to show up for a planned visit with his girlfriend and two children. An autopsy found he was asphyxiated.
McKay was serving a life sentence for manslaughter for his part in a gang-related attack
High-ranking biker pleads guilty
A high-ranking Manitoba biker has become the first casualty in an all-out police blitz against the Rock Machine.
John Adam Curwin, 31, pleaded guilty to several charges of gun and drug trafficking Wednesday, less than three months after he and 10 fellow members were arrested as part of a major undercover sting operation.
Curwin was given a 91/2-year prison sentence under a joint recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers, in addition to his time already spent in custody.
"We have someone here who is engrained in the criminal-organization lifestyle," said prosecutor Mike Desautels. Curwin was previously a member of the Bandidos gang but patched over to the Rock Machine when they began to establish a presence in the city a few years ago, court was told.
The Rock Machine has been embroiled in a war with the Hells Angels, which reached its zenith in 2011 with brazen public shootings and bombings. The Winnipeg police essentially broke up the Hells Angels in early 2012 with Project Flatlined, arresting 18 prominent members and associates.
In this case, dubbed Project Dilemma, police turned their focus to the Rock Machine and utilized the services of an undercover agent who helped capture illegal activity on audio and video surveillance.
Curwin admitted Wednesday to selling guns and benzylpiperazine (BZP) on behalf of the gang, while also being in possession of a stick of dynamite at the time of his arrest in January.