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

Friday, February 10, 2012

SQ officer made mafioso's ticket vanish

A Sureté du Québec officer was handed a sentence Thursday that leaves him with a criminal record for getting rid of a speeding ticket issued to one of the highest ranking members of the Mafia in Montreal.
Serge Parent, 45, was hoping for an absolution when he was sentenced at the Montreal courthouse following his guilty plea to two criminal charges on Jan. 16. He admitted to stealing a speeding ticket issued to Francesco (Frank) Arcadi, a man who served as the street boss of the Rizzuto clan until his arrest in November 2006 as the RCMP rounded up several Mafia leaders and their associates in Project Colisée, a lengthy investigation into the mob. Arcadi is currently serving a 15-year prison term he received in 2008.
Parent, who also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge filed against him, received a suspended sentence from Quebec Court Judge Robert Marchi and was ordered to do 180 hours of community service within a year. But Marchi’s sentence leaves Parent with a criminal record which means he will likely lose his job.
On July 17, 2003, Arcadi and Lorenzo Giordano, another leader in the Mafia currently serving a lengthy prison term as a result of Project Colisée, were returning home after having played golf when Arcadi was pulled over for speeding on Highway 40. A Sureté du Québec officer issued Arcadi a ticket and, at 6 p.m. that same day, the mafioso called the Café Cosenza, the Rizzuto clan’s former hangout in St. Léonard, and spoke to Giuseppe Lazzara, an employee of the café.
Unbeknownst to both men, almost everything that went on in the café was being secretly recorded as part of Project Colisée. The phone Lazzara answered was wiretapped and the RCMP had placed microphones and cameras in three different sections of the hangout.
Arcadi’s call to Lazzara was brief. He said he had been issued and ticket for speeding and asked Lazzara if he could do anything about it. The phone inside the café could not make outgoing calls so Lazzara immediately used his personal cellphone, which was not wiretapped. The microphones in the café recorded as Lazzara tried to reach Parent, his nephew, but was informed he was still at work.
Parent’s name was never mentioned in the conversations between Lazzara and Arcadi. But the SQ later found evidence that at 9:30 p.m. on same day the ticket was issued, someone at Parent’s home did receive a call on a cellphone issued by the surveillance unit Parent worked with at the time.
The officer who issued the ticket to Arcadi filed his evidence at his headquarters later the same night but, before it could be processed, it somehow disappeared.
The following day, Lazzara called Arcadi and told him “it’s finished” and that he could throw away the ticket.
The police eventually found evidence Parent had help from, Guy Sénécal, an SQ sergeant who retired in 2005 and has since died, in making the ticket disappear.
The RCMP informed the SQ of what was happening in 2003 but charges could not be filed until 2007 because the RCMP would have been forced to disclose how they obtained the recordings which would have sunk the ongoing Project Colisée investigation.
Parent, a member of the SQ since 1990, was suspended after being charged in 2007 but was still paid half his salary. His job is now in jeopardy because of provincial legislation which prohibits anyone with a criminal from working as a police officer.
In his decision, Marchi noted that while Parent knew Lazzara associated with members of the Mafia there was no evidence he was aware he was getting rid of the ticket for Arcadi. But Marchi also noted Parent pleaded guilty to stealing the ticket and got at least one other fellow officer involved in the crime.
“The infractions committed by the accused were at the heart of his functions as an officer of the peace, and go directly against the obligations of honesty and integrity,” that a police officer is supposed to uphold, the judge wrote in his 9-page decision.
Parent is now expected to face a disciplinary hearing to determine his future with the SQ.


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