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

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Montreal mob boss and former Bonanno acting boss Salvatore Montagna murdered in Canada on Thanksgiving day

The Bambino Boss is dead.

Salvatore Montagna, 40, the acting boss of the Bonanno mob family with strong southern Ontario ties, was killed by gunfire in the Montreal suburb of Ile Vaudry, near Repentigny, just before 10 a.m. Thursday. The Surete du Quebec have taken over the case.

Witnesses told the Journal de Montreal that they saw the victim smash through a window and then run towards a nearby river.

Arriving police pulled the victim out of the water and tried to resuscitate him, witnesses said. He would be pronounced dead at the scene.

Montagne’s murder follows the slaying of one his supporters, Lorenzo LoPresti.

LoPresti, 40, was found murdered in an apparent gangland style hit on his high-rise St. Laurent condo balcony in October. A source said the murder of LoPresti — whose father Giuseppe was killed in a still unsolved mob hit in 1992 — was a message to Montagna, but police say the motive behind Montagna’s death still remains clouded in conjecture and speculation. But questions include: was it an internal cleansing, and if so, because he was a boss, who authorized the hit and what will be the response from New York and Italy?

Or it could be a simple case of revenge.

The mob boss — known as either Sal the Ironworker because of the family metal making business or by the media moniker of the Bambino Boss because of his young age — took over the fledging Bonanno clan which had been decimated by police investigations.

Montagna was born in Montreal and spent his youth in Sicily before moving to the U.S.

He was arrested April 6, 2009, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and deported later that month on the strength of a Sept. 2, 2003, conviction when he pleaded guilty to criminal contempt for refusing to testify to a grand jury.

Montagna lived up to the code of “omerta,” the organized crime rule of not revealing anything to authorities, when he failed to testify to the grand jury on Sept. 24, 2002. He was sentenced to five years probation.

The contempt charge was filed in November 2002 when the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced the arrest of 19 mobsters for their “participation in the criminal activities of an organized crime crew of the Bonanno organized crime family.”

That crew was involved in gambling and loan-sharking, uncovered after a New York City Police undercover detective infiltrated the group based at the Aquarius Social Club on Waterbury Cres. in the Bronx.

Police discovered Montagna’s place in the La Cosa Nostra family while in the midst of the racketeering investigation into Bonanno family soldiers Baldassare “Baldo” Amato and Stephen “Stevie” Locurto, and associate Anthony Basile.

U.S. immigration argued Montagna took over the Bonanno crime family at the age of 36 and police said he was matured beyond his age. The contempt conviction was enough for U.S. immigration officials to deport Montagna.

But while being returned, he told his police handlers that he intended to retire. They believed him.

And law enforcement apparently found a way not to keep an eye on Montagna.

However, soon after he returned to Montreal in April 2009, his significance in organized crime changed as the attack on the Rizzuto crime family began, including the deaths of Nicolo Rizzuto Sr., and mob boss Vito Rizzuto’s son Nick Jr.

Police sources believe there was a pact between Montagna and Calabrian-based ‘ndrangheta crime families in Ontario. Further, the Calabrian clans with links to Montagna have operations in New York which have been operating under the radar because law enforcement is focused on terrorism.

The first shots may have been fired by a coalition of Montagna’s clan and southern Ontario’s Calabrian groups, but police had been waiting for the response to determine who is on which side.

Sources said Montagna was probably working to either get back into the U.S. or move to Ontario.

He had trouble with the language and didn’t like living in Quebec.

Vito Rizzuto did have an extensive crime operation in southern Ontario, but that had been severely hurt by a number of unrelated murders and two police operations — York Regional Police’s Project RIP and Quebec’s Project Colisee — and his jailing for his role in the murders of three Bonanno captains who apparently planned a coup.

Vito is now in Colorado jail serving a 10-year prison sentence. It was while in jail that the decimation of his three decade reign began in August 2009 with the murder of Federico Del Peschio, 59, a close friend of his father Nicolo.
Police pulled Montagna's body from a river north of Montreal Thursday morning after witnesses reported seeing a man running towards the water, diving in and hearing gunshots.



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