Investigation into the murder of Brandon Jean Célestin | Three individuals will spend the weekend in prison

Three individuals arrested early Thursday morning following a series of searches aimed at clarifying the murder of a gang member committed in Montreal in February, will spend at least the weekend behind bars.


Posted at 4:32 p.m.

The three men, Caleb Payet, 21, Brandon Castillo Tobar, 26, both of Montreal, and Miguel-Nestor Pintos Chew, 35, of Brossard, appeared by telephone outside of normal court hours Thursday evening, and the Prosecution opposed their release.

For the moment, the three individuals are accused of breaching the order, but could, according to our information, possibly face charges related to firearms.

Riddled with bullets

Early Thursday morning, Major Crimes investigators from the Montreal City Police Service (SPVM) carried out several searches in order to gather evidence on the murder of Brandon Jean Célestin, 29, committed on February 17, at the corner of Bellechasse and Saint-Denis streets, in Montreal.

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PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

The murder of Brandon Jean Célestin was committed on February 17, at the corner of Bellechasse and Saint-Denis streets, in Montreal.

Célestin had just attended an engagement in a reception hall, and was returning on foot to his vehicle, when he was hit by a salvo of around twenty projectiles fired from a moving vehicle.

Brandon Jean Célestin was the younger brother of Jean-Philippe Célestin, a gang leader now a member of the Marauders, a school club of the Hells Angels.

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PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Brandon Jean Célestin (far right) was present last fall at the Loreto Funeral Complex during the exhibition of the body of gang leader Gregory Woolley, murdered in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu on November 17.

For the moment, no hypothesis is favored to explain the murder of Brandon Jean Célestin.

Several backgrounds

According to our information, two of the suspects arrested Thursday morning and charged were allegedly involved in a shooting incident at a car, near Highway 25, during the night from Wednesday to Thursday.

Originally, Thursday morning’s operation was to result in searches only and not arrests, but it appears that investigators discovered firearms during their visits and arrests.

A fourth individual was also arrested, but released without charge.

All three men accused have criminal records.

In 2022, the SPVM dismantled a vehicle theft network and arrested several individuals, including Caleb Payet.

The latter was sentenced to 730 days in prison for possession of a firearm, but by subtracting the period of time spent in preventive detention, he had 184 days left to serve.

Payet has an active case of drug possession and was given a suspended sentence for possession of property obtained by crime.

Castillo Tobar has active causes of vehicle theft, possession of burglary tools, assault, obstruction and accessory after the fact. In one of these files, opened in Quebec, an arrest warrant was issued against him on November 28.

He was also sentenced to 12 months for drug trafficking and fined for breaching conditions.

Finally Miguel Nestor Pintos Chew has a history of breaking prescriptions, assault and identity fraud, and was under probation when he was apprehended Thursday morning.

To contact Daniel Renaud, call 514 285-7000, ext. 4918, write to [email protected] or write to the postal address of The Press.

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