" To most observers, though, Mom Boucher appeared to take the crackdown as a personal challenge. In June and September of 1997, two off-duty prison guards were murdered in drive-by shootings. One of the gunmen would later testify that Boucher ordered the killings to send a message to would-be prison informers. (He also recalled being summoned to Boucher's house and sent up in a helicopter to patrol for rival gang members.) Boucher spent most of the following year behind bars, but the jury evidently didn't believe the gunman-the only witness, an ex-con-and Boucher was acquitted. From then on, he made a point of flaunting his apparent impunity (even while he, like Faucher, rarely left home without a bulletproof vest). He worked out daily at a gym across the street from a police precinct house. Two or three times a week, he held meetings at a food court in the building that housed the cops' investigative unit. Sometimes he even took snapshots of the detectives, with whom he was by then well-acquainted.
Even Canada's criminal population began to take umbrage. Police say several underworld figures in Montreal sent word to Boucher to cool things down before the laws became so strict that none of them would be able to function. "There was huge pressure from the Italians, and even the Asian and Colombian gangs, for a truce," says a source at the Canadian intelligence agency. Finally, Fred Faucher would get his meeting with the Hells.
On October 8, 2000, Mom Boucher sat down with Faucher at the Bleu Marin. A photographer from the weekly crime tabloid Allo Police was invited to take pictures as the rival leaders smiled and shook hands. After the cameraman was shooed away, Boucher made an unexpected offer: He invited the Rock Machine to join the Hells Angels. "Their idea was if we sit all together, we can have something that will last forever," Faucher says. "'We have so many involved,' they said, 'so many people around us, so many support clubs.' All that would be ours."
For the Rock Machine, joining the Hells Angels seemed like an odd move-if not, in light of the Lennoxville Massacre, altogether naïve. Faucher, however, says he took the offer back to his troops. "We agreed that we'd stay together [as the Rock Machine] for another year, and get to know each other for a while and settle down the dust," he says.
Of course, that didn't happen. Two days after the meeting, Boucher was arrested again; the government had won the right to retry him for the murders of the two prison guards. Soon he would be charged with thirteen more murders and a host of other crimes in a case police had been developing for months with the help of an informant. Danny Kane, a 31-year-old contract killer for the Hells Angels, was living a double life in almost every way. At home, he was a husband and father of four. Away from home, he was the gay lover of a Hells Angels associate, a convicted killer whom he had met through a personal ad. And at work, as the driver and bodyguard for one of Boucher's top associates, he was secretly recording conversations and copying computer disks that police say documented a $1 billion-a-year cocaine empire headed by Boucher's Nomads. A few weeks after turning over his evidence, which police hope will deal a lethal blow to the Hells Angels, Kane was found dead in his garage of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
With Boucher locked up, the Rock Machine saw an opportunity. Five members-Faucher was not among them-flew to Germany and finally secured an official invitation to join the Bandidos. Police say the Rock Machine voted to accept the offer at a meeting on November 29, 2000, a move that is hard to interpret as anything but a battle cry. Faucher is adamant that the decision came after his last arrest, on December 6. "What we agreed on before I got locked in, I stood up to that," Faucher says. "You can tell Mom."
Either way, the Bandidos' arrival in Canada has triggered a worldwide expansion drive by both Hells Angels and Bandidos. Law-enforcement experts in the United States, including the FBI, say the actions resemble a military preparation. "There's friction in Germany, there's friction in New Mexico, there's friction in Colorado," says Patrick Schneider, a U.S. attorney based in Phoenix and the president of the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association. "For the first time, you have the Hells Angels' world dominance being seriously challenged. One of two things has to happen: Either they work out an uneasy truce, divide up the territory and co-exist, or I can't see that there's going to be anything short of a bloodbath worldwide."