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

Friday, August 25, 2017

Montreal Mafia leaders will have separate trials

Alleged Montreal Mafia leaders Leonardo Ri‎zzuto and Stefano Sollecito will have a separate trial from the other people who remain charged in Project Magot.

In a decision made recently, Superior Court Justice Eric Downs agreed with a request made by both men that they have a trial separate from a dozen other people who were arrested in a major operation, led by the Sûreté du Québec, in November 2015. When the arrests were made, the SQ alleged both men were acting as leaders of the Montreal Mafia.

The request was made as part of a series of hearings being held at the Gouin courthouse, in northern Montreal, that will resume on Monday.

Both men are charged with taking part in a conspiracy to traffic in drugs between 2013 and 2015. They also face gangsterism charges.

Rizzuto, 48, is the son of Vito Rizzuto, the now-deceased former Montreal mob boss. Sollecito, 49, is the son of Rocco Sollecito, one of Vito Rizzuto’s closest allies who was killed last year in Laval.
Stefano Sollecito exits a courtroom during a break in a hearing as part of Project Magot at the Gouin courthouse in Montreal on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017.

Leonardo Rizzuto requested a separate trial because he speaks English and he wanted a trial either in English or at least a bilingual trial. Sollecito requested he be part of the same trial as Rizzuto, in part for health reasons but also because the evidence in their case can easily be isolated from the rest.

In his written decision, Downs agreed with the request because “the prosecution’s evidence is substantially different from the evidence that will be presented against the co-accused.”

Downs ordered that a new trial date for Rizzuto and Sollecito be set early new month. The tentative plan is to have the trial involving the co-accused begin in September 2018.



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