Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Alleged Montreal police informant thought to have committed suicide

A retired Montreal police detective, who is alleged to have tried to sell the names of police informants to the Mafia, died in a Laval hotel on Wednesday in an apparent suicide.
Ian Davidson was found dead in a bathroom at the Hôtel Châteauneuf Laval on Autoroute des Laurentides in the morning, with what Laval police confirmed were cuts to the neck, the day after his name was published in a Montreal newspaper in connection with the scandal that erupted earlier this week.
It appears he took his own life, Laval police Constable Nathalie Lorrain said, though she added the police do not confirm the identity of suspected victims of suicide. It’s now up to a coroner, who will perform an autopsy on Thursday or Friday, to confirm the name and how he died, she said.
However, several Montreal police officers were on the scene in the morning, along with Laval police and ambulance technicians. The Montreal officers helped to identify Davidson, who was a resident of Laval and had identification with him, a source told The Gazette. A sharp object found in the hotel room appears to match the wounds, the source said. Davidson rented the room the night before, the source added.
Davidson was already dead by the time ambulance technicians arrived, an Urgences Santé spokesperson said. It appears a hotel employee found him around 8:30 a.m. and called 911.
Montreal police had arrested Davidson in October at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport before he boarded a flight to Costa Rica, La Presse reported on Wednesday. He was not charged in the case because the investigation was ongoing, but his passport was confiscated, the newspaper reported.
Davidson, who retired as a detective-sergeant last January, worked in the Montreal police department’s intelligence unit. Shortly after he left the force, Montreal police were informed that someone was trying to peddle a confidential list of informants in return for a large sum of cash.
Word of the arrest of an unnamed retired sergeant-detective hit the media only this week.
Montreal police say just two or three officers had access to the informant list. Davidson’s job in the intelligence unit, which is part of a specialized investigations department, was largely clerical work, Didier Deramond, head of the specialized investigations unit, told The Gazette on Tuesday. He had no contact with informants, but entered information passed on by informants in a database, Deramond said.
It took a couple of weeks and more tips before police focused on Davidson.
News of his death stunned neighbours who lived on the same street as Davidson in a quiet residential area of Laval’s St. Rose district.
“He was a normal guy, living a normal life and was a friendly neighbour,” said one woman, who didn’t want her name published.
The neighbour said Davidson has adult children from his first marriage and lived in the home with his partner and her daughter.
She said she knew Davidson was a police officer, but said she didn’t know any details of his work.
Police investigators were questioning one of Davidson’s children at the home on Wednesday.
Davidson, who was twice divorced, bought the home with his current 41-year-old partner for $260,000 in 2005, provincial real estate records show.
In August, the two remortgaged the house for $214,000, the records show. Davidson’s arrest, for allegedly trying to sell the list of informants’ names to the Mafia, came two months later.
Police executed a search warrant on the Laval home in October as part of the investigation and hauled away some documents. Davidson remained free after his arrest while the police continued their investigation.
On Tuesday, Deramond and Montreal police chief Marc Parent refused to identify the retired officer the police had arrested in October by name.
During his 33 years on the force, the suspect had a spotless record of service, Parent said on Tuesday. He also called the matter “a really exceptional case.”
Deramond told The Gazette the police force conducted a “threat assessment” after learning of the attempt to sell the informant list, and ensured that informants were safe. Investigators also checked with its network of informants to verify whether he might have helped or worked for the mob in the past, he said.
“We made checks, and indeed we had nothing to hold against him until the time he took his retirement,” Deramond said on Tuesday.
Davidson had previously worked with the sexual assault squad, and by the mid-1990s was a sergeant.
Parent described Davidson on Tuesday as someone with an unblemished record who for some reason turned rotten after his retirement.


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