Security firm protecting SWN hired company owned by ex-con who claimed undercover work for RCMP in Akwesasne
(YouTube video posted in August shows Stephen Sewell in a heated argument with opponents to SWN Resources Canada’s shale gas exploration)
By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
The security company hired by SWN Resources Canada to protect equipment during its controversial shale gas exploration project subcontracted work to a consulting firm owned by an ex-convict who claims he did undercover work for the RCMP in Akwesasne.
Industrial Security Ltd. (ISL), which is owned by JD Irving Ltd., subcontracted work to Chief to Chief Consulting, according to New Brunswick lawyer Mike Scully, who works for the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs of New Brunswick as the consultation liaison with SWN.
ISL has been conducting security for SWN, a Houston-based energy firm that is facing ferocious opposition to its shale gas exploration work from the Mi’kmaq residents of Elsipogotog First Nation.
ISL employees were also providing security for the JD Irving-owned compound holding SWN vehicles at the centre of an Oct. 17 raid by RCMP tactical units. The raid against a Mi’kmaq-led anti-fracking camp which was blocking the compound freed SWN’s vehicles.
Mi’kmaq fracking opponents were again facing off against the RCMP Thursday.
Chief to Chief Consulting was registered as a New Brunswick company on April 17 by Stephen Sewell, a Mi’kmaq man from Pabineau First Nation.Â Sewell self-published a tell-all book describing his undercover work for the RCMP infiltrating smuggling networks in Akwesasne and the Hells Angels biker gang.
Scully said Chief to Chief Consulting had a total of nine people working under the contract for security-related tasks. Scully said the company was hired as “first responders and health and safety monitors” and to be “a buffer between the security (company) and the general public.”
Randy Wilson, director of corporate security for JD Irving, did not return a phoned and emailed request for comment from APTN National News on ISL’s decision to subcontract out work to Chief to Chief. APTN National News asked Wilson if Sewell’s claimed past work as an RCMP informant played any role in the decision to give the company a contract.
APTN National News contacted JD Irving’s media relations team and is still waiting for a response.
Elsipogtog First Nation’s former War Chief Gary Augustine is also employed by Chief to Chief.
Scully said he didn’t know exactly what Chief to Chief was doing at the moment or if they had any other contracts with SWN.
APTN National News contacted SWN’s office in Moncton seeking to speak to Sewell. The receptionist said Sewell was in the boardroom for a meeting, but wasn’t available to talk.
APTN National News has also left numerous messages over the past several weeks on Sewell’s home telephone voicemail.
Sewell spent time in federal and provincial jails for drug and violent crime while also claiming to have worked for the RCMP as an informant covered under the Witness Protection Program, according to his book, Abused, Addicted, Incarcerated: Canada’s Shame: The Autobiography of An Aboriginal Rebel. The book also describes his conversion to Christianity. It was published in 2011.
Sewell wrote that he served four years in the Dorchester penitentiary after being convicted on 21 domestic-related offenses against his ex-partner. The charges included putting a gun to the “back of her head” while telling her “she was going to die” while she was in “the fetal position and begging for her life.”
In the book, written under the pseudonym Chief Poison Feather, Sewell claims he never pointed the gun at the woman; he just took out a box containing the weapon and threatened to use it.
“I told her that she had better shut the fuck up and let it go or I was going to shut her the fuck up in my own way. She finally shut up, but the gun wasn’t even taken out of the box. That alone would have knocked two years off of my sentence because I was charged with pointing the firearm at her,” wrote Sewell.
Sewell claimed in the book he began working as an RCMP informant under the Witness Protection Program sometime in 1994. Sewell wrote that he signed a contract at the RCMP’s J Division headquarters in Fredericton, NB.
“I would start at $500 a week plus expenses, plus a five thousand-dollar pay-off at the end,” wrote Sewell.
Sewell wrote that he was eventually given tens of thousands of dollars by the RCMP for the undercover work he did for the federal police force which included infiltrating the Hells Angels biker gang on the East Coast.
Sewell claimed that his successful undercover work led the RCMP to send him to Cornwall, Ont., to infiltrate biker and Mafia-linked organizations in the city.
He said he was ordered to infiltrate the Mohawk community of Akwesasne, which straddles the Canada-U.S. border, under the name of “Stephen Sock.” The operation ran from 1995 to 1998, he wrote.
Throughout his description of his work infiltrating Akwesasne, Sewell dropped the names of well-known families and individuals in the community. Sewell wrote that he helped smuggle alcohol and cigarettes across the St. Lawrence River and all the way to Mohawk community of Kahnawake near Montreal. In the book, he includes a police surveillance image of a boat piloted by men with ski masks with the cutline: “Smuggling from New York to Ontario while working undercover.”
He also claimed to have taken part in gang rapes with the bikers.
“I always kept the RCMP abreast of the situation. They told me that if the victim doesn’t file a complaint, then they were not going to act,” wrote Sewell. “It was almost expected, even from the girls at these parties, that they would be used or even expected to satisfy anyone’s sexual urges.”
Sewell wrote that he worked with four undercover RCMP officers and they posed as criminal organization behind a business front called Paradise Construction Plus based in Montreal. According to Sewell, the operation ended in February 1998 and led to 18 arrests. He said the operation bought C-4 explosives, a rocket launcher, AK-47s, AR-15s and M11′s, grenades, dynamite, cocaine and “$7 million worth of heroin from Hong Kong.”