The Chicago Syndicate: Nick Rizzuto Jr
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Showing posts with label Nick Rizzuto Jr. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nick Rizzuto Jr. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Assassinations & Firebombs on Rise as Mobsters Fight to be Boss, Hells Angels could be Winner

Once feared and respected within the underworld, Montreal's Mafia has become a shadow of its former self as rival clans battle each other to see which Mob boss will become the city's next godfather.The civil war within the Montreal Mob is being played out in a series of assassinations and, increasingly, firebombings of businesses linked to Mafia associates.

Police suspect Mafia activity was behind at least 13 firebombings in the greater Montreal region last year, almost double the seven they identified in 2015, said a communications officer for the Montreal police.

The latest case of Mafia-linked arson may have occurred Monday morning, when a strip mall in Laval's Vimont neighbourhood went up in flames. Police are describing the fire as "suspicious."

Among the four businesses that were destroyed was Streakz Coiffure, a hair salon owned by Caterina Miceli. Another one of Miceli's salons was firebombed last week.Miceli is married to Carmelo Cannistraro, who was arrested in 2006 as part of an RCMP-led crackdown on the Mafia.

RCMP documents submitted to Quebec's Charbonneau inquiry list Cannistraro as an associate of Frank Arcadi, one of the Mafia bosses in the Rizzuto clan.

The spate of firebombings has been accompanied by a series of grisly killings around the Montreal area, largely targeting those linked to Vito Rizzuto, the one-time godfather who turned the city's Mafia into one of the most successful organized crime operations in North America.

Rizzuto, known as the Teflon Don, pleaded guilty in an American court to racketeering charges in 2007 in exchange for a 10-year sentence in connection with the 1981 murders of three alleged gang leaders at a New York social club.He died of natural causes in 2013, 15 months after his release from a Colorado prison. Other members of his clan haven't been so fortunate. 

Last October, Vincenzo Spagnolo was shot to death at his home, also in Laval's Vimont neighbourhood. Organized crime experts say Spagnolo, 65, served as the right-hand man to Rizzuto. At the time, provincial police said Spagnolo's death appeared to be the result of a "settling of accounts" within the Mafia.

Last May Rocco Sollecito was gunned down while driving his BMW SUV through Laval.

He was suspected of acting as an adviser to Vito Rizzuto's son Leonardo, who allegedly took over from his father. The younger Rizzuto is currently behind bars, awaiting trial on gangsterism and drug-trafficking charges.

Leonardo's brother, Nick Jr., and grandfather, Nicolo, were shot dead in 2009 and 2010 respectively. 

​In the early days of the bloodletting, it was unclear to observers who was behind the violence: street gangs, the Hells Angels and Mafia clans from outside the city were all tossed around as possibilities. But Pierre de Champlain, a former organized-crime analyst for the RCMP, increasingly believes the violence is coming from within the Montreal Mafia's own ranks.

The Rizzutos, originally from Sicily, took charge of the Mafia after wrestling power away from the Cotronis, from Calabria, in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Nicolo Rizzuto managed to successfully transfer the crown to his son, Vito. Under their leadership, de Champlain said, Montreal became an important hub in the international drug trade, a way-station for cocaine on its way to the U.S. But Vito's death created a vacuum. And the ongoing violence is a sign no one has been able to establish himself as a strong leader in his place, someone capable of earning the respect of the various factions within the Mob.

"We may suspect at the moment that the so-called Calabrian faction has an advantage because the Sicilian factions have been severely hit with casualties over the last years," de Champlain said.

"So you might think that the Calabrian factions might be behind these fires, but that doesn't mean the Sicilians are not responding to this."

As the war wages within the Mafia, if indeed that is what's happening, other organized crime groups have been able to reassert themselves.

This has notably been the case with the Hells Angels, which — after being weakened by police arrests and internal conflicts of their own — have emerged once again as a force within Quebec's underworld.

"There is no war against them, and they are not at war with anyone," de Champlain said.

"The longer their war goes on, the more the Mafia is weakened."

Thanks to Jonathan Montpetit.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Antonio Accurso admits to inquiry that Rizzuto crime family were ‘minor’ contacts

Antonio Accurso, the construction magnate at the centre of corruption and collusion allegations in Quebec, acknowledged Wednesday two members of the Rizzuto crime family were among the contacts he amassed over his decades in business.

Questioned at the Charbonneau commission into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry, Mr. Accurso identified Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto and his son Nick Rizzuto Jr. as having been “minor contacts” in his vast network. “A minor contact is someone I can run into from time to time, someone I know his name,” he said.

Commission lawyer Sonia LeBel did not explore Mr. Accurso’s relationship with the Rizzutos, but previous witnesses have said Mr. Accurso did more than simply bump into Vito Rizzuto.

Investigator Eric Vecchio testified in March Mr. Accurso had a breakfast meeting with Mr. Rizzuto in 2003 to discuss the possible involvement of one of Mr. Accurso’s firms in a Montreal real-estate project.

Rival businessman Lino Zambito testified in 2012 he was surprised to find Mr. Rizzuto waiting after he had been convened to a meeting with Mr. Accurso to discuss a construction contract the two were interested in landing.

Mr. Zambito said Mr. Rizzuto acted as a mediator, advising Mr. Zambito the project might be too ambitious for his young company. He said Mr. Rizzuto told him, “Try to find a solution with [Mr. Accurso], so that this time it’s him and the next time it will be you.”

Vito Rizzuto died last December of cancer after serving a U.S. prison term for his involvement in three 1981 murders, while Nick Jr. was shot dead in Montreal in 2009.

Mr. Accurso, who is facing criminal charges, including fraud, breach of trust and corruption, has always strenuously denied any association with the Rizzuto family. In 2010, he accused Radio-Canada of falsely reporting he had attended the visitation for the younger Rizzuto.

“Falsely linking Mr. Accurso to the family thought to control the Mafia in Montreal and affirming that he wanted to pay final respects to one of this family’s members cases serious damage to Mr. Accurso’s reputation,” his lawyer said in a statement at the time.

Wednesday, Ms. LeBel was more interested in establishing Mr. Accurso’s close ties to leaders of the Quebec Federation of Labour.

He described former QFL president Louis Laberge as “a spiritual father” and former head of the QFL construction branch Jean Lavallée as the brother he never had. Two other former QFL presidents were friends, he added. But Mr. Accurso insisted he never got any favours from the union because of his personal ties to the leadership and he never meddled in internal union politics.

Commissioner Renaud Lachance challenged his claim his businesses never benefited from the connections he cultivated with union leaders. In 2010, when banks were refusing to lend Mr. Accurso money because his name had become linked to collusion schemes in Montreal, an electricians’ union headed by Mr. Lavallée agreed to lend one of Mr. Accurso’s firms $5-million.

“You don’t think that your excellent relationship with Mr Lavallée might explain why a union local loans money to a businessman who is in trouble?” Mr. Lachance asked. “Do you know a lot of union locals that lend money to businessmen?”

After a long pause, Mr. Accurso acknowledged he did not.

Thanks to Graeme Hamilton.


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