Gang leader arrested after weekend stabbings in Montreal

 MONTREAL- A man described by police in the past as a dangerous and violent street gang leader has been charged with two counts of attempted murder in a case where two men were stabbed outside a bar in the Plateau over the long weekend.

Jean-Philippe Celestin, 31, described in the past as the leader of a Montreal street gang called the K-Crew, appeared at the Montreal courthouse on Monday.

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He faces five charges in all in an assault that left one man in critical condition early Saturday morning outside the outside Commission des Liquers du Plateau, a nightclub on St. Laurent Blvd. near Mont Royal Ave.

The man who was more seriously injured was listed as being in stable condition as of Sunday.

A second man arrested in the attempted murders is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon, police said.

During the weekend the Montreal police said they believed the stabbings occurred as the result of a dispute that had started in a bar and that the violence occurred as the victims left.

In 2009, Celestin was described by police as the leader of a drug trafficking network that was very active on St. Laurent Blvd. A police investigation, dubbed Project Norte, targeted several members of the K-Crew, including Celestin.

In 2007, during a hearing before the Regie des alcools, des courses et des jeuxs, the provincial liquor board, the K-Crew was described as “a major and emerging street gang” in Montreal.

During the same hearing Celestin was described, by a police expert, as the most violent and most dangerous member of the gang.

On March 24, 2010, Celestin pleaded guilty to conspiracy and possession of drugs with the intent to traffic in the Project Norte case and was sentenced to an 18-month prison term.

As part of the same sentence, Celestin was on probation when he was arrested during the long weekend as a suspect in the attempted murders.