03/22/2013 11:56 EDT | Updated 05/22/2013 05:12 EDT

3 found guilty in Eastern Townships gas cartel

Three people were found guilty this morning in connection with gas price fixing in the Eastern Townships, marking the first court decision following a major investigation into fixed pump prices.

The Sherbrooke, Que., court found that two gas station owners and one gas company executive conspired to fix prices in the Sherbrooke and Magog areas in 2005 and 2006.

Yves Gosselin, who oversaw several Irving gas stations in the Sherbrooke region, was found guilty of helping to fix gas prices, along with Shell gas station owner Michel Lagrandeur and Petro-Canada station owner Linda Proulx, both based in the Magog area.

This is the first group of people to be tried in court following a major investigation by Canada's Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency.

That investigation resulted in a total of 39 people and 15 companies being charged with conspiring to fix gas pump prices in Quebec's Eastern Townships.

Thirty of the 39 accused have pleaded guilty to avoid trials, instead choosing to accept fines ranging from $3,000 to $50,000, and in some cases, imprisonment.

Because these are the first three to go to trial, it’s also the first time the evidence collected by the Competition Bureau has been made public.

Gosselin, Lagrandeur and Proulx are scheduled to be sentenced in Sherbrooke on May 24.