01/16/2015 17:25 EST | Updated 03/18/2015 05:59 EDT

André Thibodeau pleads not guilty to gangsterism, bookmaking

A Montreal patrol sergeant who police allege ran an illegal bookmaking operation has been charged with 11 criminal offences, including two charges of gangsterism.

Sgt. AndréThibodeau, 49,was arrested in Laval yesterday along with NatalinoPaccione, 60. Montreal police allege the two men ran the illegal gambling operation. 

Wearing handcuffs, Thibodeau made a brief appearance in Laval court today, pleading not guilty to the 11 charges laid against him.

He stands accused of being part of a criminal organization and of knowingly making people, directly or indirectly, commit a criminal offence. The latter charge could result in a prison sentence, if he is convicted. 

Two additional charges, breach of trust and  obstruction of justice, were laid today in court against Thibodeau. 

Crown prosecutor Isabelle Poulin opposed his release on bail, citing the serious nature of the accusations. 

Thibodeau, Paccione ​and 10 others were arrested Thursday in a series of raids in Laval, Quebec City and Blainville.

The investigation, led by the Montreal police internal affairs division, was launched two years ago after other police officers came forward with concerns.

Thibodeau was allegedly conducting activities related to the bookmaking operation while he was on duty at Station 33 in Montreal's Park Extension neighbourhood.