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

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mob war feared after Scarcella's release in Canada


Some organized crime watchers say Pietro “Peter” Scarcella could be a target in a continuing mob war against Montreal’s Rizzuto crime family.
But others believe the man solidified his place in the murderous hierarchy of organized crime and will emerge stronger than when he entered the prison system — that the risk of his demise is no greater than anyone else in the world of organized crime, police sources say.
After serving six years in jail for his role in the wounding of Louise Russo, Scarcella is to be freed from Beaver Creek on April 11 under a statutory release program.
Russo was the innocent victim of a botched mob hit at a North York sandwich shop in 2004. Shot in the back, she was paralyzed and is now confined to a wheelchair.
Scarcella is tied to Vito Rizzuto and the Montreal clan, also known as the Siculiana family, which is embroiled in an on-going mob war that appears to pit it against both Sicilian and Calabrian crime groups in Ontario and Quebec.
The crime boss moved to Canada in the 1970s and became a driver for then-prominent Toronto mobster Paul Volpe.
The Commisso crime family in Toronto at first targeted Scarcella in the 1980s, but when he apparently sided with them, Volpe became the target.
Scarcella is described by police as the last man to see Volpe alive. The murder is still unsolved. His body was found in the trunk of his wife’s car at Toronto’s Pearson Airport in 1983.
A police joint-forces project that focused on Volpe and Scarcella — Project Hammer — ended abruptly with Volpe’s death.
The team made of officers with the OPP, Toronto, Durham, York, Peel and the RCMP, focused on the movements of the two men. But the officers attached to it were bitter that the findings of their two-year project, which investigated a series of arsons at construction projects, were unwanted by those investigating the murder.
Volpe was last seen by a witness leaving La Sem, a Woodbridge cafe, with his driver Scarcella.
Things changed again with the 1997 murder of Hamilton mob boss Johnny “Pops” Papalia.
A police theory is Papalia wasn’t keen on sharing the region’s drug trafficking with outlaw motorcycle gangs, which countered Rizzuto’s business model of using bikers to distribute drugs.
Papalia was murdered, and Rizzuto’s grasp of southern Ontario tightened.
After Scarcella was convicted for the shooting of Russo, Scarcella suffered a superficial wound to the upper body by a fellow inmate Andrew Carpenter on April 1, 2007, while in the Bath Institute near Kingston. It was apparently a fight about cigarettes.
While in jail, Scarcella launched two court cases in 2009.
In one, he asked the Federal Court of Canada to allow him to challenge the designation that he is the boss of the Scarcella traditional organized crime family, but Madam Justice Judith Snider turned down the request.
In the other 2009 case in the Superior Court of Justice in Napanee, he applied for a transfer to minimum-security Beaver Creek prison from medium-security Bath, hoping to be closer to his family.
Initially, the move was granted by Corrections Services Canada.
Court heard: “As an inmate the applicant upgraded his education, took a variety of programs, remained charge free and maintained a Level A pay scale ... On each of the three domains, namely institutional adjustment, escape risk and risk to public safety, the applicant was categorized as low. The team recommended transfer to minimum security.”
But Scarcella’s hopes to move were denied by the warden because he was found possessing a Corrections Services document with information citing Scarcella as a mob boss, a type of document usually considered sensitive and to be kept out of the hands of people not in law enforcement.
A court document outlined Corrections Canada’s decision not to move him to Beaver Creek: “Recently, Scarcella knowingly came into receipt of a CSC document ... without the knowledge or consent of CSC members.
“He has admitted to transmitting this information to his lawyer and spouse,” the document stated. “This is a significant breach of security on Scarcella’s part and demonstrates the need for regular and often direct supervision.
“There is no escape-related behaviour noted. He has been assessed as below average for general recidivism and a low level of risk for violent recidivism. There is a higher likelihood for indirect instrumental violence,” the document stated.
Prison officials decided he should stay in a medium-security institution.
However, his lawyer argued the document was part of an information package he needed to prepare a challenge his mob status in the federal court hearing, and the Superior Court agreed, allowing Scarcella’s move to Beaver Creek.



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