Public contract for someone close to organized crime

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

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

Tri Box

Photo QMI Agency, Louis-Dominique Lamarche

The SQI does not seem to have done much research before granting the $33,300 warrant last August to the company of Roberto Scoppa, brother of mobsters Andrew and Salvatore Scoppa, both murdered in 2019.

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

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

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

“Since 2019, the [ministère] sent three notices of non-compliance to Location Tri-Box for having deposited contaminated soil, for having backfilled a wetland and for having set up facilities for the recovery of residual materials without authorization”, indicated Frédéric Fournier, spokesperson for the Minister of the Environment.

Tri Box

Photo Dominique Cambron-Goulet

Concrete and brick residues are notably on its site.

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

The SQI admits that it did not check with the Ministry of the Environment before concluding the agreement.

“This contract did not require the holding of a public call for tenders and Tri-Box presented itself as a company capable of reclaiming the land,” replies Martin Roy, spokesperson for the SQI. The contract provides for the company’s obligation to comply with all legislation and regulations in force.

Roberto Scoppa wanted to meet with us in the presence of his lawyer. During this interview, he admitted that he has still not complied with the requirements of the Ministry of the Environment since his sanction, at the beginning of 2020.

He blamed another company for bringing contaminated soil to him 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 of [sols] contaminated, argued Mr. Scoppa. Do I still accept concrete and things like that? No. »

Asked if he had accepted concrete or brick since his fine from the ministry, Mr. Scoppa replied: “Maybe one or two trucks that we couldn’t turn around”.

He also contests the ministry’s claims about wetlands and assures that he has the right to crush concrete and brick on site, to use them as the basis of a road on which trucks travel.

– With the collaboration of Eric Thibault

The two co-founders of Location Tri-Box, Roberto Scoppa and Jonathan Borbely, were also involved in another controversial landfill company, G&R Recyclage, based in Kanesatake.

Scoppa and Borbely were partners there in 2015, 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 major players in the riot that followed the burning of the house of Grand Chief James Gabriel and for having kidnapped 67 police officers from the Mohawk Nation.

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

More recently, last July, Gary Gabriel was talking in his cannabis dispensary with gang leader Arsène Mompoint when the latter was shot dead.

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 tail in 2015.

Archival photo

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

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

Mr. Scoppa says he “never had contact” with the Gabriel brothers, except when he decided to leave the company because he was not 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 the mountains of waste was being released directly into the environment without treatment, reports The Presslast fall.

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

Roberto Scoppa has recently been in the police sights 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.

Archive photos

Andrew Scoppa was shot in October 2019.

◆ Andrew was considered by 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.

Archive photos

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

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

Before their assassination, the police placed Roberto Scoppa alongside his brothers in the organization chart of the Montreal Mafia. In 2015, police surprised two encounters between Andrew and Roberto as part of his tailing of the Estacade project.

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

He claimed never to have spoken with his brother Salvatore “since 2011-2012”. “We fought to the punches and we never spoke to each other again,” he says.

As for his brother Andrew, he first said 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 part of their business,” he says.

Our research also shows that Roberto Scoppa registered Tri-Box, in 2015, at the address of a residence belonging to his brother Andrew.

That year, the three Scoppa brothers had businesses 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 January 2019, Roberto Scoppa traveled with the Hells Angels Martin Robert, according to police information to which our Bureau of Investigation had access.


Photo archives, QMI Agency


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 a nine-month run, he spent five years in prison for conspiracy to murder.

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

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

Mr Scoppa maintained that in 2019 he had no contact with his brothers for years.

“Surely I’m not going there with him [Martin Robert] ? Are you crazy? It was when the war [entre différents clans du crime organisé] started and I would sit with someone who is connected to other people? Think a little? »

Roberto Scoppa pleaded guilty to no less than 12 criminal offenses in the 1990s and 2000s, in six different cases.

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

In one of these cases, the judge even banned him for life from possessing certain weapons.

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