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

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mobster settled back in Canada after being deported

Last summer, Norman Rosenblum returned to Canada after having been a fugitive for 18 years. He had skipped out on a sentence he was serving for having brokered, along with members of the Hells Angels and the Montreal Mafia, one of the biggest cocaine deals ever investigated in this country.
He knew he was a wanted man and that Canadian authorities had been advised he would be arriving in June last year. He expected to be placed in shackles the second he crossed the border but no one resembling a police officer was present when he did.
“Instead, you were welcomed into Canada with no constraints. You started a new life under your real name receiving welfare while you applied for government identifications such as a health card,” the Parole Board of Canada reveals in a written decision it made on Friday to revoke the day parole it granted to Rosenblum, now 65, back in May 1999.
Rosenblum managed to live in Canada as a free man for seven months until the Gatineau police approached him on Jan. 22, while looking for a suspect who resembled him. When they asked Rosenblum to identify himself, he did so willingly. It was only then that authorities suddenly realized Rosenblum was a wanted man for having failed to serve his sentence.
During the early 1990s, the Mounties targeted then-Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto and the Montreal Mafia to determine how dirty money was being laundered in the city. To do so, the RCMP opened a fake money exchange counter on Peel St. in downtown Montreal and posed as money-changers willing to do business without asking questions. The Hells Angels also entered into the picture and, eventually, the RCMP was so overwhelmed by criminals wanting to do business with them they had to limit their focus to the two biggest criminal organizations in the city.
Rizzuto was never arrested in the investigation but several high-ranking members of the Montreal Mafia were, as well as full-patch members of the Hells Angels. When more than 50 people were arrested, near the end of August 1994, a prosecutor described Rizzuto as the big fish who got away.
“We know that he is part of the conspiracy, but because of legal principles, we cannot file this evidence against Mr. Rizzuto,” the prosecutor said back then.
The probe revealed Rosenblum was involved in a transaction where 558 kilograms of cocaine was to be shipped from Colombia to England, where Quebec-based Hells Angels planned to distribute it.
News of how the RCMP conducted the investigation was reported across Canada for months. In 1995, Rosenblum pleaded guilty to being part of a conspiracy to smuggle cocaine and to being in possession of property obtained by crime. He was sentenced to a 13-year prison term.
Despite having been a major player in one of the most high-profile investigations the RCMP ever conducted, Rosenblum returned to Canada last year in complete obscurity.
The parole board’s decision notes that Correctional Service of Canada was informed, in June 2017, that Rosenbum was being deported from a country whose name was redacted from the copy obtained by the Montreal Gazette.
The document also reveals that the Canadian government was fully aware of Rosenblum’s whereabouts for years. While he was living in the other country, Rosenblum was caught while in possession of cocaine and served a prison term from 2008 to 2017. When Correctional Service Canada recently tried to retrace Rosenblum’s footsteps, an employee with a Canadian embassy confirmed that it provided him with consular services while he was behind bars in the foreign country.
“Reportedly, a series of mistakes by different government offices allowed you to re-enter the country and avoid apprehension by the authorities,” the written decision notes.
During Rosenblum’s parole hearing, held via a video-conference at a penitentiary in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, he told the parole board that he didn’t consider turning himself in when he realized no one was there to arrest him at the border.
“(On Friday), you mentioned that you never thought of turning yourself in as you thought you had been given a second chance,” the author of the summary wrote while also noting that the board member who presided over his hearing was not convinced. “You (appeared to be) articulate and clever at the hearing. You ought to have known that you were still under sentence.”
Rosenblum will have to wait a year before the parole board reviews its decision.\



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