Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Police hunt four men after weapons seizure, with suspected Mafia ties


Police hope to identify four men they believe are linked to a large cache of weapons, including automatic firearms and grenades, recently discovered in east-end Montreal.
In yet another troubling sign that associates of the Montreal Mafia are heavily arming themselves for an impending conflict, police seized several firearms, explosives and smoke bombs at a warehouse on Feb. 1.
The discovery caused police to cordon off a large perimeter in the area surrounding the building while the explosives were removed.
Montreal police Sgt. Ian Lafreniere said an investigation by the organized crime division determined the unit was rented by someone known to police for "having close links to Italian organized crime."
Lafreniere said an ongoing conflict in Montreal's underworld is "one possible explanation" behind the weapons cache. "But it is hard to predict the intentions of the people behind this. That's why we'd like to find them," he said, adding the man who rented the unit has not been charged. Lafreniere said the firearms were not recent models, leading investigators to believe they were not intended for sale.
Investigators also managed to view video footage, recorded by security cameras both inside and outside the self-storage business, which captured images of the four men the police believe are linked to the rented storage unit. The man who rented the unit is not one the four men seen in the videos, Lafreniere said.
The weapons seizure occurred a few months after the Montreal police confirmed, in December, they believe violent acts, including homicides and arson fires carried out in Montreal since August 2009, could be attributed to a conflict between different factions that once peacefully coexisted under the Rizzuto organization.
The organization was severely handicapped by arrests made in Project Colisee in 2006 and the May 2007 conviction of its reputed leader, Vito Rizzuto, who pleaded guilty in the U.S. to a racketeering case involving the 1981 murders of three Mafia captains.
Since August of last year, the Montreal police have made at least five series of arrests, of people with alleged ties to the Mafia who were subsequently charged with carrying firearms in public.
The first arrests came on Aug. 27, when Antonio (Tony) Mucci, 56, and two other men alleged to be his bodyguards, were arrested while he was riding around the city in a heavily armoured sport utility vehicle. Three firearms were seized as part of the investigation into Mucci, reputedly an influential figure within the Mafia in Montreal.
The most recent arrests came on Feb. 4, when three men, including a 42-year-old allegedly tied to the mob, were arrested in a vehicle found to have a 9 mm. handgun inside it.
 


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