The Code of the Underworld

Stach, sneak, runner, purette, moroccan. Dear jurors, you’ve just entered the world of Jonathan Rochette, Flo says, accused of running a real big-box drug store.

L has voice crown prosecutor M e Juan Manzano is reassuring. At the dawn of a trial that will last no less than six weeks, the prosecutor knows that the 12 jurors sitting before him will be destabilized by the vocabulary, the codes of the underworld. That they will have to absorb seemingly disparate evidence.

“At first it will seem dry, but it all comes clear,” promises M e Manzano.

The pursuit thesis is simple; Jonathan Rochette, 32, was the manager of an extensive network selling hard drugs, cocaine and methamphetamine mainly. Attention, warns the prosecutor; between them, traffickers will use much more graphic terms to describe narcotics, such as purette and moroccan .

The Crown also argues that Rochette and his accomplices were not Sunday vendors; they would have traded thousands of drug pills in 2016 and had to use hockey bags to carry them around.

According to the Crown, Rochette’s network was large enough to require four drug caches, called stach , in four Quebec City housing units.

The police had cameras installed which filmed continuously, for a few months, the comings and goings around these caches. The jurors will look at these pictures. “Pay attention to entering the caches and the way people are dressed,” suggests M e Manzano jurors.

With a warrant, police officers from the Quebec police, associated with the national crackdown on organized crime, were also able to sneak in the caches to take pictures and seize drug samples.

Several police officers specialized in installing cameras or infiltration will come to testify during the trial. The public and journalists will not see their faces, as a row of gray screens will protect their anonymity and future investigations.

The first technicians responsible for installing and recovering the cameras, unbeknownst to the suspects, began testifying on Tuesday. Often uncomfortable, they are not very talkative, jealously guarding what can be an investigative technique.

Drug deliverers, called runners, will tell their story. They will explain where they were going to get the drugs and who they were taking their orders from. De Flo, Rochette’s nickname, according to the allegations of the lawsuit.

Two other defendants

An alleged accomplice, Peggy Gagnon, is being tried at the same time as Jonathan Rochette. According to the prosecution, Ms. Gagnon was responsible for separating the drug bag into 500 or 1000 tablets, to speed delivery.

The jury will also decide the fate of a third accused, Antoine Lévesque. According to the lawsuit, Lévesque was Jonathan Rochette’s right-hand man, who allegedly asked him to move a drug cache.

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