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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another mobster is whacked in Montreal


A man who was shot to death in LaSalle over the weekend was once a major player in Montreal’s drug trafficking scene.
But court records indicate Walter Ricardo Gutierrez, 60, fell on hard times after serving a 10-year prison term related to three drug trafficking cases brought against him in 1994, including one that linked him to people at the highest levels of the Mafia in Montreal.
Gutierrez was shot several times Sunday night near a social housing apartment building at the corner of Gamelin and George Sts. in the LaSalle borough.
He was declared dead after being taken to a hospital, and no arrests have been made.
It was the 16th homicide reported in the city so far this year.
Police sources interviewed Monday said they knew very little of Gutierrez despite the fact he was once part of a high-profile roundup of people tied to the Mafia and the Hells Angels after the RCMP set up a currency-exchange counter in downtown Montreal in an effort to determine who was laundering drug money in the city. The investigation uncovered nearly $100 million worth of dirty money and produced charges against more than 50 people in 1994.
At the time, the Mounties openly admitted they had targeted reputed Mafia leader Vito Rizzuto in the operation, but never produced enough evidence to charge him. However, several of Rizzuto’s closest associates were arrested in the investigation and Gutierrez was charged along with them in a specific drug trafficking conspiracy case that was severed from the money laundering case in 1995.
Less than two weeks before his arrest in that high-profile bust, Gutierrez had been charged in a different case involving 298 kilograms of cocaine – estimated to be worth more than $135 million at the time – seized by Montreal police. And earlier that same year, Gutierrez was caught, again by Montreal police, trying to sell half a kilogram of cocaine in Montreal’s north end. By Dec. 11, 1996, he had pleaded guilty in all three cases and was sentenced to a 10-year prison term.
Recent court and business records tell the story of a man who struggled with debt and failure after his sentence expired in 2006. In 2005, while out on parole, Gutierrez started a company, based out of an apartment in the Shaughnessy Village, that offered cleaning services to commercial and residential buildings.
By December 2008, he declared personal bankruptcy and claimed he was unable to pay off more than $27,000 worth of debt, mostly to banks and credit card companies. He attributed his financial failure on a lack of cleaning contracts and, according to an affidavit he filed at the Montreal courthouse, Gutierrez had signed away his only asset, a share in a property on the South Shore, to a relative early in 2008.
He also noted that he to had return a pickup truck to a dealership because he couldn’t afford the payments.
According to court records, he resided in low-income apartments during the last five years of his life.
Montreal police were unable to say Monday afternoon whether Gutierrez resided in the social housing building where he was shot or if he was there to visit someone.


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