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

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rizzuto crime boss return sparks concerns of violence in Canada

Ontario’s anti-Mafia police wonder if more than leaves will drop this fall.
Embattled Montreal mob chieftain Vito Rizzuto returns to Canada from his Florence, Colo., jail cell in October and police here suspect there will be strikes against his opponents.
The 66-year-old lost much in the past few years as his underworld empire came under attack and crumbled while he was incarcerated.
The Sicilian-born capo lost life-long friends and allies in the onslaught apparently orchestrated by crime groups in Quebec and Ontario.
But closer to his heart, his son, Nicolo Jr., was assassinated in 2009, his brother-in-law, Paolo Renda, vanished two years ago and is presumed dead, and Vito’s father, Nicolo, was also killed in 2010.
There have been a few apparent retaliatory strikes, including the murder of Salvatore Montagna last November.
Police experts suspect crime groups in Ontario had a role in the power push against Rizzuto that began in 2009 and was apparently fronted by Montagna — an acting boss of the New York Bonanno crime family who was deported to Montreal by U.S. authorities.
Initially, Rizzuto’s move into Ontario was marked with the murders of Carmen Barillaro and Johnny “Pops” Papalia in 1997.
Police also know there was a hit list that wasn’t completed. The list included a number of other GTA and Niagara area Calabrian mobsters, particularly four related to three Violi brothers who were killed between 1976 and 1980 during the Rizzuto family’s rise to power in Montreal.
Rocco Violi was killed in 1980 by a sniper’s bullet while as he sat to dinner in his Montreal-area home, a scene to be repeated 30 years later in the murder of the senior Nicolo Rizzuto.
Vito Rizzuto was sent to jail in 2007 on a racketeering conviction for his role in the 1981 murders of three mutinous New York-area Bonanno captains.
His return will probably be met with much preparation by U.S. and Canadian authorities, but with little fanfare. Most Canadians will not even know when he arrives, but when he does, he’ll be a free man.
What awaits him in Montreal appears to be a disheveled organization and a moldering arrest warrant issued by the Italian government for money laundering.
But the ranks of the organization may be boosted, as some of his trusted lieutenants currently in jail — including the influential Francesco Acardi — will be eligible for parole.
Also, authorities don’t expect Italy to act on the warrant.
Police in Ontario expect bloodshed, retaliation for the losses the Rizzuto enterprise suffered, but a source says Vito doesn’t have to be out of jail for that.
“People know what they have to do,” the source said. “Vito’s presence is not necessary for vengeance. That’s the mistake people make.”
The assault on the Rizzuto crime group began with police projects: R.I.P. headed by York Regional Police which aimed at Rizzuto’s Ontario operation in 2001; and RCMP-led Colisée in 2006, which targeted the crime group’s leadership.
Then came the underworld attacks on the Rizzuto clan, launched a few months after Montagna arrived in Montreal in April 2009.
U.S. authorities deported Montagna, 40 — dubbed by New York media as the Baby Bambino because of his youth — who told authorities he planned to retire.
Instead, he apparently aligned himself with GTA-area Calabrian crime families and those in Quebec who moved away from Rizzuto.
Six people were arrested in Montagna’s slaying, including Raynald Desjardins, 58.
While he was known to have strong ties to Rizzuto, authorities aren’t sure where his loyalties lie.
The suspect and his body guard were also targets of an attempted hit in Laval in 2011.
Also charged are Vittorio Mirarchi, 34, of Ste. Adele, Que., Felice Racaniello, 27, of Montreal, and Jack Arthur Simpson, 69, of Ile Vaudry. Names of two others were not released.
Police sources here say they’re interested in Mirarchi’s alleged role. He has close ties to Calabrian groups in Ontario, including one Toronto-area businessman who was on the alleged Rizzuto clan’s hit list in the 1990s.
What investigators don’t know is if Montagna made a move on his own or if he tried to muscle out an ally, prompting retaliation.
A source indicated Montagna, although respected, wasn’t considered tough enough to wage a protracted street war.
“Sal wasn’t a trigger man,” a source said.
“He’s not the type of guy to get involved in a war,” added the source. “He had his own crew with the ability to move drugs ... but he’s not the right guy for a violent street drug war.”
The source said authorities often can do little but wait for who is assassinated.
“I cannot see there being vengeance in Montreal unless there’s blood in Toronto,” the source said.
But police sources expect that any retribution has to be measured so that it won’t upset the mob’s business enterprises.
Strikes are expected to be surgical in nature “and then things will fall back into place,” said the source.
What’s confusing the landscape for authorities are three GTA murders since last year of men with ties to traditional organized crime.
The three are known as drug rip-off artists, but the question is: Who pulled the triggers? Was it the Mafia — and then were they from Montreal or local? Or was it an East European crime group?
“Not paying a drug debt is a death sentence,” the source said.
Add to the mix, organized crime activity in Italy, the source said.
The source said it seems impossible that the way the ‘Ndrangheta — the name of the Calabrian mob — is “intertwined around the world, it’s hard to assume leaders in Italy didn’t have knowledge or a role” in what’s happening in Montreal.
Authorities have recently seen increased traffic of senior ‘Ndrangheta clan members from Calabria to the GTA, leaving police with the impression that what happens in Canada is important to the worldwide operation of the Calabrian mob.
“The Italian (authorities) find that a lot of major decisions that affect Calabria” are being finalized here in the Toronto area.
“Several key decisions in Italy can’t be made without input from Woodbridge,” the source said.
Canada is financially important to the ‘Ndrangheta. It’s seen as a safe financial haven and authorities here haven’t struck as often or as hard as in Italy, where billions of Euros in property and other assets have recently been seized from criminal organizations.
“The longer we wait, (organized crime) legitimize their ventures,” the source said. “They turn their bad money into good.”



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