updated 4/14/2008 8:33:17 PM ET 2008-04-15T00:33:17

A Montreal-based Hells Angel was sentenced Monday to a mandatory life term for blowing up a federal drug informant with a car bomb nearly 15 years ago near the Canadian border.

Richard Vallee, 50, was convicted in September of murdering Lee Carter Jr. to keep him from testifying in Vallee's cocaine smuggling case.

Carter's Porsche exploded July 28, 1993, outside a bowling alley where he worked as a bartender in the northern New York community of Rouses Point. Carter, 31, was a government informant.

"Any murder is horrendous, but when you have a cooperator, working with law enforcement, then the case has special significance," U.S. Attorney Glenn Suddaby said.

Vallee was arrested in Quebec in April 1995. Accomplices helped him escape from a guard at a Montreal hospital in 1997 and he fled to Costa Rica. He was arrested in Canada six years later after he was stopped for driving under the influence and was extradited to the U.S. in 2006.

U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy imposed the life sentence and also ordered Vallee to pay more than $900,000 in restitution to Carter's family.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Pericak said he was pleased by the sentence.

"We decided this man was not going to get away with this," Pericak said.

Carter's father, Lee Carter Sr., attended the sentencing but had no comment.

Defense attorney Terence Kindlon said he plans to appeal.

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