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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Montagna fled from convicted drug traffickers home during murder

A convicted drug trafficker remains in custody on an alleged parole violation after he was questioned by provincial police about what Salvatore Montagna was doing inside his home just before the mafioso was killed.
Jack Arthur Simpson, 69, was arrested in Ottawa on Monday for allegedly violating his parole on a 28-year sentence he is serving for attempting to ship 300 kilograms of cocaine from California to New York in 1996.
The Sûreté du Québec also wanted to ask Simpson about Montagna, who was fatally shot Thursday on Île Vaudry just east of Montreal.
Police believe Montagna, 40, was killed as he exited a house owned by Simpson or that he was shot inside and ran out to elude the shooter.
According to land registry records, the house is owned by a trust company controlled by Simpson. He also lists the property as the business address for Plancher en gros Inc.
"We did meet with the owner of the house where the crime might have occurred," said Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Benoit Richard. "He was arrested for a parole violation. He is still detained in the Ottawa region for his parole violation."
He said SQ investigators met with Simpson on Monday shortly after his arrest, reportedly by heavily armed members of the Ontario Provincial Police.
Richard said no charges were expected to be filed on Tuesday as a result of the questioning.
What is not clear is whether Simpson was on Île Vaudry when Montagna was shot or how the mobster ended up on the small island, part of the municipality of Charlemagne.
Montagna was deported to Canada from the United States in 2009 and resided on the South Shore of Montreal.
U.S. authorities alleged he was the acting head of the Bonanno crime family in New York when they realized he wasn't a U.S. citizen.
Montreal police believe during 2011, Montagna tried to generate a consensus over who should assume control over the Mafia in Montreal.
According to Simpson's parole records, he has been "suspected over a long period of time as being implicated in certain drug trafficking, counterfeit and (stolen) vehicle networks."
The same records state Simpson is not suspected of being part of a specific organized crime group and that he distanced himself from such people while he was behind bars.
His criminal record dates back to 1960 when he was convicted of theft at age 18.
In 1962, he was caught distributing counterfeit money. In 1980, he was sentenced to a six-year prison term for an offence involving counterfeit money. In 1997, the SQ and RCMP raided the Île Vaudry home and found $1.6 million in fake Canadian $1,000 bills and printing equipment. The raid was part of an investigation into a car-theft ring.
At the time, Simpson was in custody in California for attempting to ship 300 kilograms of cocaine to New York. He and a Canadian pilot were arrested in September 1996 at a municipal airport near Anaheim as they and a Colombian man were in the process of transferring boxes from a truck to an airplane.
In March 2000, Simpson pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and conspiracy charges and was sentenced to a 28-year term. His parents and wife died while he was behind bars.
According to U.S. court records, he was transferred to Canada in 2003. He continued serving his sentence, which expires in 2016, in federal penitentiaries in Quebec and was granted full parole in 2007.
During a parole board hearing in 2006, Simpson claimed he was only helping "guard the cocaine shipment to protect (his) $140,000 investment in the aircraft that was to transport the narcotics from Los Angeles to New York."
The parole board referred to Simpson's credibility as "thin" and wondered how he managed to find money to start a business (not identified in parole records) with three branches while on day parole.
They also raised questions about a real-estate transaction he was involved in, but Simpson managed to address the board's concerns when he was up for full parole a year later.
Two conditions were attached to his release in 2007: He was required to provide monthly financial statements and was not allowed to associate with "people tied to the drug milieu or organized crime."
Richard was not able to say how Simpson is alleged to have violated his parole.


Court filing reveals sheer volume of recordings against Rhode Island mob boss

A more detailed picture of the U.S. Attorney's case against a reputed former mob boss and several of his alleged soldiers emerged in a new federal court filing on Tuesday.
The documents reveal the large volume and sweeping scope of recorded conversations captured by hidden cameras and bugs inside Providence's Cadillac Lounge strip club during an investigation into an alleged Mafia protection racket. The evidence also includes a surveillance video seized from a popular downtown coffee shop.
Federal prosecutor William Ferland filed the motion in response to a complaint by an attorney for accused capo regime Edward "Eddie” Lato that the government had committed a "document dump" drowning him in evidence without much guidance.
Attached to the motion was a 10-page letter prosecutors sent to defense lawyer Mark Smith laying out the evidence the government has in the case, an effort to convince the judge the U.S. Attorney's office has taken great paints to help the defense attorneys deal with the mountain of discovery.
The letter says prosecutors plan to have jurors listen to three recorded conversations from the winter of 2010 between reputed former mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio and a cooperating witness.
It also details the extensive surveillance conducted inside the Cadillac Lounge, including hidden microphones inside the main part of the club and an office. FBI agents also installed hidden cameras in an “interior office” and on a shoeshine chair.
On Feb. 25, 2010, the FBI issued a subpoena for video surveillance from the Starbucks inside Providence's Biltmore Hotel, the letter says. It does not state who is shown in the video or how it will be used in the case.
In all, prosecutors handed over 116 compact discs to defense attorneys in the case, including video, audio and photos, as well as documentation.
As Target 12 first reported Tuesday, the defense lawyer for Lato is urging U.S. District Court Judge William Smith to compel prosecutors to provide a “useful roadmap” to guide them through the large amount of material.
But Ferland said the letter he provided does just that and objected to the request for more time to sift through the evidence.
“It is difficult to understand how the defendant could contend he does not grasp the significance of this evidence,” Ferland wrote. “Counsel was specifically instructed if he had any problems with the discs he should immediately contact the Government’s attorney who would provide assistance. No further contact was had from defendant relative to accessing the discs or locating specific material.”
The letter also reveals prosecutors plan to use the now famous 1989 audio recordings of a Mafia induction ceremony held in Medford, Mass. The recordings have been used in several cases to prove the existence of the mob. They feature the voice of former mob boss Raymond “Junior” Patriarca welcoming members into the crime family, including Robert “Bobby” DeLuca, an alleged high-ranking member of the New England La Cosa Nostra from Rhode Island who has recently disappeared.
During a press conference earlier in the year, U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha declined to comment if DeLuca was being used as a government witness in the case.
As Target 12 first reported, Lato, 64, of Johnston, was arrested by federal agents in September, accused in a RICO conspiracy case of shaking down area strip clubs for protection money. He was one of seven defendants charged in a superseding indictment.
The indictment accuses Lato of carrying on the shakedown scheme even after the reputed former boss Manocchio was scooped up in a first round of arrests last January.
In all, eight men have been arrested in Rhode Island as part of the national crackdown on organized crime. Beside Manocchio and Lato, the accused are:
            -Thomas Iafrate
            -Theodore  “Teddy” Cardillo
            -Richard Bonafiglia
            -Alfred “Chippy” Scivola
            -Raymond “Scarface” Jenkins
            -Albino Folcarelli
All but Iafrate – who entered into a plea agreement in July – have pleaded not guilty to the charges.