From selling secrets to organized crime to foul-mouthed violence against students and artists, several Montreal police officers have recently made the news for their rogue behaviour.
The latest in the spotlight is Amir El Alfy, who didn't just steal a brand-new iPhone from a protester but later bragged about it to a friend.
Unfortunately for the constable, his conversation was intercepted by police internal-affairs detectives who were investigating him on another matter, the savage beating of a fellow officer in Mexico.
Constable El Alfy pleaded guilty Monday to stealing an iPhone and illegally importing 250 pills of erectile-dysfunction drugs.
An official confirmed Tuesday that the court heard the accused, a 10-year veteran, had been caught on wiretaps boasting that he got the iPhone after roughing up student protesters.
"We were beating up those idiots.… I saw the cellphone on the ground and grabbed it, it certainly belonged to one of those idiots who were trying to film us," the constable was heard on wiretap.
He also talked about how much he could get by reselling the iPhone online, saying he expected it would finance half of a trip to a sunny destination.
Constable El Alfy is the latest of several bad-apple peace officers in Montreal.
Badge No. 728
Constable Stéfanie Trudeau proved that excessive force and profanities are not the monopoly of male officers.
A potty-mouthed officer better known as Badge No. 728, she was charged with assault following a violent, verbally abusive 2012 arrest that was caught on video.
She had a long history of disciplinary problems, starting with a 1996 incident where her abrasive manners in a sexual-assault case left the 14-year-old victim in tears.
She became widely famous when she was videotaped indiscriminately pepper-spraying people at a student protest.
Then, in October 2012, she stopped four artists who were carrying musical instruments into an apartment because one of them held an open beer while on a public sidewalk. Constable Trudeau was caught on video placing one man under a headlock and dragging him down a flight of stairs. She is then heard talking to another officer, mocking the artists as "guitar scratchers" and "rats."
The incident became so famous that a Montreal production house released a porn film parodying her. She tried to get a court injunction to stop the distribution of the film but a judge said it was fair game.
The biker expert
Former top detective Benoît Roberge also made judicial headlines last year. He was sentenced to eight years in jail after pleading guilty to gangsterism and breach of trust.
During Quebec's murderous drug turf wars of the 1990s, Mr. Roberge was a top specialist on criminal bikers, handling key informants and testifying as an expert witness at trials.
Mr. Roberge then went to work as head of the intelligence unit of the Quebec revenue department.
However, his life unravelled in the fall of 2013 when René Charlebois, a former member of the elite Nomads chapter of the Hells Angels, escaped from prison.
After three weeks on the run, Mr. Charlebois killed himself as police were closing in on the house where he was hiding. Police later discovered that Mr. Charlebois had recordings showing that Mr. Roberge had sold confidential police information to the Hells Angels for $125,000.
The courts eventually heard that Mr. Roberge was caught thanks to an undercover police agent who pretended he had possession of the Charlebois recordings. Mr. Roberge told the undercover agent he was willing to pay $50,000 to retrieve the incriminating audio.
The Roberge case came in the wake of another scandal, when retired Montreal police detective Ian Davidson committed suicide after he was outed as a mole.
Mr. Davidson was a 33-year veteran with a reputation as a meticulous analyst in the intelligence unit, responsible for handling highly sensitive information.
Six months after he retired, a wiretapped conversation led to suspicions that he had tried to sell to the Mafia the names of police informants.
One defence lawyer later confirmed to The Globe that in 2011 someone had offered to sell secret information to one of his clients, via an envelope with four photocopies inside.
The joint investigation by the Montreal police, the Sûreté du Québec and the RCMP zeroed in on Mr. Davidson because there was a limited number of people who had access to the list of informant names.
Mr. Davidson, who had been questioned and had his passport seized, knew that investigators were closing in on him.
In January 2012, the story was leaked to the media. Hours after Mr. Davidson's identity was disclosed in La Presse, he took his own life in a hotel room.