“Socalj” & “HEARST” for Borderland Beat

Just before noon, reports of gunshots rang out at a shopping mall near the port of Cancun. According to the FGR, a foreign national was reported dead after being shot inside a gym at the Marina Puerto Cancún Plaza.

The 37-year-old man on the gym floor, shot while working out on a leg press, was identified as Samy Tamouro, known in Canada as “Blue.” But Samy is not a normal run-of-the-mill tourist. Last year, he fled Canada for the tropical Mexican tourist destination after a close friend of his, a convicted hitman responsible for at least 4 murders became an informant, cooperating with Canadian authorities.

Samy himself had a string of drug trafficking-related convictions and was tied to the infamous Quebec Hells Angels as a member of the Dark Soul’s, a puppet or support club. He was a high-level drug trafficker in the now defunct Biker-Mafia-Gang alliance known as the Syndicate, headed by the late trafficker Gregory Woolley, gunned down last month outside of Montreal.


Cancun Gym Murder

The Attorney General’s Office of the State of Quintana Roo posted on X that it has “opened an investigation after the events that occurred in a shopping center in the municipality of Benito Juárez, resulting in a foreign person losing his life as a result of an assault with a firearm.”

“Initial investigations indicate that the victim had a criminal record in Canada, where he was found guilty of the crimes of gangsterism and possession of money of illicit origin.” posted the FGR of Quintana Roo.

He was killed while working out at the high-end Total Sport Fitness Club in Cancun, owned by famed boxing promoter Jose “Pepe” Gomez. It was reported by Quinta Fuerza that Samy was a part owner of the gym.
The gym sits inside of a high-end shopping mall complex along the Port of Cancun, popular with tourists. The Centro Comercial Marina Puerto complex features several high-end restaurants, a movie theater, shops, high-rise condos, and a Renaissance resort hotel.

Photos of the victim in the gym quickly began to circulate on social media platforms. One includes a woman crouching over Samy. It is believed the woman is his widow as she accompanied paramedics outside of the gym.
Initially, several media sites reported that the dead man was an Israeli man named Sammi Tamouro, who had served time in Europe for tax evasion. Another site reported his background as being Moroccan. The FGR then officially released the statement confirming the homicide of a foreign national with a criminal record for gangsterism in Canada.

Samy was still alive when paramedics arrived. He had been shot in the back of his head. The paramedics tried to take him to the nearby Galenia hospital but he could not be treated there as they had no operating room. He died en route to the IMSS hospital on Cobá Ave, arriving 25 minutes following the report of the shooting.

Tracking the Killers

Witnesses stated that the attack was carried out by a single person, possibly a minor, who shot the victim. He was seen dropping the gun and a bag. 
The killer escaped by jumping down to street level, climbing through garden plants before hopping onto the back of a motorbike up the street. Another motorbike had pulled up seconds beforehand and left shortly after the killer escaped, possibly having been a lookout during the attack.
Security camera footage also captured the killers outside of the mall riding tandem on a motorbike after the killer fled the gym. The stone road and small pillars match the entrance to the complex.
The FGR released information that the captured killer of Samy is a young man from Guadalajara, Jalisco. He is suspected of having stayed in the Cancun area for the past week, tracking Samy’s movements.

Nearby Shooting

Shortly after the killing at the Cancun gym, a shooting occurred near the corner of Nichupté Ave. and 135 about 5 miles or a 15-minute drive inland from the mall. Initially, it was reported as a shootout with National Guard (GN) troops and related to the killing at the gym. It is not currently known if that is the case. Mixed reports state the identity of the victim as a former Red Cross lifeguard or as a guard at the Social Reintegration Center (Cereso) prison in Benito Juárez. The man stated that he was attacked by an armed man on a motorbike. 
The man and his mother were traveling in their minivan when the attacker knocked on the driver’s window. He began shooting inside the van as the window was rolled down. The elderly woman’s arm was injured as a result of the shooting and was treated at the hospital. He managed to disarm and subdue the attacker and authorities arrested him.

Who is Samy?

Samy Tamaouro was Canadian, of Israeli or Moroccan descent with a long criminal history in Canada. He had maintained close ties to Quebec Hells Angels. He was also close to gang leader Jean-Philippe Célestin and Sébastien Giroux who was murdered in Montreal in May 2022.

Recently, the police had considered him a “street boss” for members of the Montreal Hells Angels and suspected him of being involved in the importation of cocaine from Mexico to Canada.

Samy Tamouro was said to be the right-hand man of Hells Angel member Jean-Richard “Race” Larivière, a member in good standing of the Montreal chapter. 

Jean-Richard was said to control the cash ‘bank’ for the Nomad chapter at the end of the Quebec Biker Wars. He was imprisoned in 2001 for 12 years after police seized $2 million in a safe and over $17 million in drugs. He became a member of the Montreal chapter in 2017 and had his ‘colors’ seized by the National Organized Crime Squad in 2018.
Jean-Richard had been arrested in July 2020 along with a fellow Hells Angels biker after the duo assaulted one of the owners of the Pizzeria Sofia after a drunken argument broke out following the man’s attempt to tell the bikers to leave at last call. He pleaded guilty to common assault after other assault charges were dropped. He had previously been fined in 2018 after police had to subdue him with a taser after a drunk altercation with police intelligence officers at a lavish Hells Angels wedding.
Samy Tamouro had been arrested along with Pascal Lavoie and Claude Ouellette in 2016. He was charged after a drug trafficker who was arrested during the 2015 Project Magot-Mastiff operation became an informant and provided evidence linking Tamouro to the Hells Angels based in Quebec. 
Tamouro pleaded guilty in 2017 and was sentenced to an 18-month prison term. While Samy was in prison, he was said to still be collecting money from drug sales, a total of around $135,000.
In 2019, Tamouro allegedly tried to collect loans that people had taken out from two murdered brothers Salvatore and Andrew Scoppa. The Scoppas were ‘Ndrangheta Calabrians who had attempted a takeover against the Rizzuto Montreal Mafia three years earlier.
Project Magot-Mastiff was an investigation into how the Montreal Mafia, Hells Angels, and street gang leaders agreed to work together to sell cocaine and other drugs. Arrest warrants had been issued for Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito, alleged heads of the Montreal Mafia. The informant also testified against Hells Angels leader Salvatore Cazzetta.

The informant was an accountant running a small drug trafficking network in Montreal. He said Tamouro made sure the network always had “employees,” slang for street-level dealers. He testified that he began working with Tamouro, who went by the nickname “Soulier,” in 2010. 

“It was certain we were going to grow because we had more employees,” the informant stated that he was a good man to have on board because he previously sold drugs in Rosemont and was well-connected.

Thanks to Samy’s connections, the informant said they teamed up with another group that included the son of a full-patch member of the Hells Angels. The group was moving 3 kilos of cocaine per month in three different areas of Montreal. The cocaine was allegedly supplied by a member of the Hells Angels.

The informant also testified that Tamouro was once a member of the Dark Souls, a Hells Angels Support Club/Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMG).

In January 2017, he was allegedly involved in the attempted murder of Jean-Guy Bourgouin, a former member of the Rockers, the defunct support club of the Hells Angels. The attempt on his life occurred after the pair shared a meal at a restaurant in Saint-Léonard. Tamouro had also served a 24-month sentence in prison for an aggravated assault case that occurred in 2012.

Possible Motive

According to information obtained by Radio Canada and Nation World News, the order to kill Samy came out of Quebec. Quebec police sources do not believe local drug cartels in Mexico considered Samy a subject of interest to their business, however, it could be possibly related to a drug deal. 

Quebec police suspect that he was killed because of his ties to the hitman turned informant Frédérik Silva. It was recently reported by former organized crime investigator Eric Vecchio that a possible purge of Silva’s accomplices could take place. “It is certain that with the revelations of Frédérick Silva and the corroboration of the police which will follow, there are many people who will be embarrassing witnesses. We can think that some of these annoying witnesses could disappear,” stated the former investigator.

Fleeing Quebec

Samy was allegedly part of a group within the Montreal underworld that coordinated murder contracts alongside Silva and Gregory Woolley, as well as other figures.

Hitman Frédérick Silva has been cooperating with Canadian justice since the summer of 2022 and is said to be offering information on more than 30 murders in Quebec. Police sources have claimed that several well-known organized crime figures left Quebec after Silva was escorted via helicopter from the federal penitentiary and placed under police protection. 
Tamouro left Canada for the Dominican Republic on July 2, 2022, two days after Silva’s cooperation was announced. 

Silva was arrested in February 2019 and was charged with two counts of murder hours later. He had been on Canada’s most wanted list and Samy allegedly helped him hide for two years. Montreal police arrested three people in June 2019 in relation to several murder cases from 2017 and 2018 they believe are connected to Frédérick Silva.

One of the killings took place outside of a strip club in 2017. He was also charged in connection to a Laval murder that took place on October 11, 2018. He was also involved in the attempted murder of an organized crime figure in Terrebonne in 2017.

Last week, Québec and Montreal police carried out a series of search warrants based on ongoing investigations that started after Silva became an informant.

“Individuals associated with notorious groups such as the Italian Mafia, the Hells Angels, and criminal street gangs are targeted by the investigation,” police said in a news release. The 6 raids were part of an effort to solve several homicides linked to organized crime dating as far back as the 1990s and in response to the increase in targeted killings of organized crime figures in Montreal.

One of the raids occurred at the home of Jean-Philippe Celestin, a close associate of Gregory Woolley. Police also searched the home of Vito Salvaggio who in 2022, was sentenced to 4 years for his involvement in a Hells Angels drug operation. He was reported to be in a position of power after Vito Rizzuto’s 2013 death which has sent the Canadian organized crime world into turmoil with multiple murders over the last decade.

Recent Quebec Connected Killings

This murder of a key member of Quebec organized crime is added to the numerous other attacks committed in recent months against big names in the underworld.

Mafioso Francesco Del Balso was shot dead in early June while leaving the Monster Gym, in the west of the island of Montreal. A price had been placed on his head because he was suspected of having ordered the attempted murder of Montreal mafia co-leader Leonardo Rizzuto, which occurred on March 15, on Highway 440 in Laval. Rizzuto was injured but survived his injuries.

Claudia Iacono, the spouse of Anthony Gallo, an individual linked to the mafia, is murdered in her living room in Montreal on May 16 this year.

On September 6, Giuseppe Lopez was shot dead in Juan Dolio (Dominican Republic) while he was riding a motorcycle. He was linked to the Montreal Mafia with connections to the Hell Angels and an enemy of the powerful Rizzuto clan. Hitmen traveled to the Dominican Republic to kill him using false passports.
On November 27, Michel “Doune” Guérin, a close friend of the Hells Angels, and who was very active in the Quebec region, was killed while shoveling snow in his driveway. He was shot several times.

10 days prior, on November 17, drug kingpin Gregory Woolley was shot and killed in front of his wife and 4-day-old baby in a parking lot in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, outside of a gym. Woolley was a close partner to former Canadian Hells Angels President Maurice “Mom” Boucher and was a key connecting figure between the bikers, Rizzuto family Mafia leaders, and local street gangs. 
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Woolley’s funeral saw several organized crime figures in attendance.