A smiling Mario Lambert (right) appears at a Montreal courthouse on Friday, May 25, 2012.
Credits: SÉBASTIEN ST-JEAN/LE JOURNAL DE MONTRÉAL/QMI AGENCY
Police started investigating in 2009 after an informant told them someone with ties to organized crime was allegedly able to obtain information from the police database through an officer.
The investigation targeted Mario Lambert, a detective who previously had a stellar record.
Police set up a sting operation, and Lambert was allegedly caught using the database to glean personal information for a third party.
A Quebec Court judge found him guilty on three counts of using the database for fraudulent reasons.
As is common for veteran cops, Lambert had an extensive informant network that allowed him to stay well-connected with major players in the city's underworld.
The verdict came as a shock to the police and legal communities as Lambert had testified on numerous occasions in murder cases and was well-regarded by prosecutors.
Lambert said in court that he used the database for a case he was working on.
Judge Jean-Pierre Dumais said he didn't believe the argument.
"The accused knew, despite the rules, that he shouldn't have used the information from (the database) for personal reasons," the judge wrote in his decision. "He did the opposite ... he revealed confidential information to non-authorized third parties."
Everyone consulted by QMI Agency said it is unlikely Lambert will be imprisoned, even though he could be sentenced to up to 10 years.
"We don't put a policeman like that in prison," said a source outside the courtroom. "He has already received his sentence."
Lambert's lawyer said his client will appeal the guilty verdict.