Francesco 'Chit' Del Balso
|Francesco Del Balso is convinced the armed men who stormed into his home in May and terrorized his children intended to kill him. Although he and his family were the victims of the home invasion, it set off a chain of events that saw Del Balso returned to the relative safety of a federal penitentiary to continue serving the overall 15-year sentence he received in 2008.|
Del Balso spoke at length about the home invasion during a hearing and said it left him in shock for weeks because his family was at risk.
|Del Balso was away from home when he received a text message from his 12-year son that sent chills through his body. "Daddy. Daddy. Help help help. There’s a man with a gun”. The 12-year-old boy was upstairs at the time while one of the armed men was on the main floor pointing a gun at his brother, demanding to know where Del Balso was. Del Balso called 911 and headed for his home, and he arrived at the same time as police. By then, the two armed men had fled. Marc Berthelot and David Cormier were in a car that was pulled over by Laval police minutes later. The Parole Board of Canada found a photo of a firearm and other photos “linked to the Hells Angels” on Berthelot's phone January 30th.|
Marc Laflamme Berthelot
|“I felt like a sitting duck,” Del Balso said explaining why he “ripped off” an ankle bracelet with a GPS tracking device that he agreed to wear. He said he left the bracelet on the lawn of his home in the hopes it would draw more police officers to his home and protect his family. He disappeared for more than two hours before turning himself in to the Laval police.|
“I know someone wants to kill me. I have to watch myself,” Del Balso said.
|Career Quebec drug trafficker and money launderer Sabatino (Sammy) Nicolucci has been banned from setting foot in Montreal’s Little Italy, along with any “Italian-style coffee shops”. |
Nicolucci, 70, was known as the Montreal Mafia’s drug and money launderer. Most of Nicolucci’s adult life has been spent in prison, as a fugitive or on parole. His first criminal conviction in Canada was in 1973.
|In 1992 police traced a $1.7-million purchase of 280 kilograms of cocaine made by Nicolucci on behalf of Vito Rizzuto. Nicolucci refused to pay the Colombian drug cartel, claiming the cocaine was poor quality. The Colombians kidnapped him from Castel Tina, an infamous Montreal strip club he managed, and smuggled him to Colombia. Nicolucci negotiated a deal with his kidnappers; his life would be spared and he would work off his debt to the cartel in Colombia. Arrested, he arrived back in Canada and faced 437 charges for drug trafficking and money laundering. He received a combined sentence of 33 years.|
|“You are forbidden to be inside the quadrilateral limited by the following streets: St-Laurent, Jean-Talon, Bellechasse and Alma,” the board said, naming the boundaries of Montreal’s Little Italy. “The main contributing factors related to your criminality are identified as criminal associations, bad judgment, pride, financial difficulties, lax values and the lure of easy gain.”|
|Vittorio Mirarchi, 39, a man who had considerable influence in the plot, was sentenced to a nine-year prison term. Raynald Desjardins, the leader in the plot to eliminate his rival, was sentenced to a 14-year prison term in December. Five of the six men were left with sentences of under two years when the time they have already served was factored in. That means they can serve their sentences in provincial detention and will be eligible for releases soon, in some cases in a matter of weeks.|
Both Desjardins and Montagna were trying to take control of the Montreal Mafia in 2011 when the latter was killed. The two had tried to work together but their partnership fell apart. Desjardins assumed Montagna was behind a failed attempt to kill him on Sept. 16, 2011 in Laval.
Giuseppe “Joe” Renda
|Two days before the attempt was made on Desjardins’s life, the Sûreté du Québec had Montagna under surveillance. He met with two men — Giuseppe (Joseph) Renda and Antonio (Tony Suzuki) Pietrantonio. Both men sided with Montagna. Pietrantonio was shot and critically wounded at a strip mall weeks after Montagna was killed.|
Renda disappeared in May 2012 and hasn't been seen since.
Antonio (Tony Suzuki) Pietrantonio
|In 2008, De Gregorio was arrested and charged in connection with a kidnapping. The men who carried out the kidnapping were trying to collect money that the victim owed. Among the people arrested was Salvatore Scoppa, the brother of Andrea (Andrew) Scoppa, a man alleged to be the leader of a Calabrian clan within the Montreal Mafia.|
|Francesco Del Balso was supposed to be released from prison in June after serving two thirds of a 15 year sentence, but when Lorenzo (Skunk) Giordano, 52, was fatally shot in Laval on March 1 he was returned to jail for his own safety.|
The other still living member is Francesco Arcadi, who remains behind bars.
|2017 could give rise to a changing of the guard with the Calabrian in a good position to regain control. |
How this could happen between them and the resurgent Hells Angels remains unclear. The Hells Angels will increase their stranglehold in 2017. No criminal organization in Quebec has the ability to stand up to the Hells. The bikers are in a well structured, strong position. They now control virtually 85% of the Quebec market for narcotics and collect a sales tax of 10% (even on the Mafia) on those who operate in their territory.
|Montreal businessman Tony Papa doesn't like to be called an informant. |
But over three interviews spanning 5½ hours, Papa provided information to investigators at Quebec's securities regulator — the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). "Yes, I can help you nail whoever the hell you want to nail," Papa tells the AMF investigators on the recording. Yes, I do know what the fuck goes on. Yes. That's why ask me a straight question, I'll give you a straight answer." In the interviews, the AMF tells Papa that he and a number of others are under investigation by the AMF for manipulation of penny stocks.
| Papa was a 'close friend' to some of Montreal's top Mafia figures including Vito Rizzuto and Moreno Gallo. Rizzuto died of lung cancer in 2013. That same year, Gallo, a top underworld figure and convicted murderer, was gunned down in Mexico.|
In 2005, RCMP Project Colisée wiretapped the Rizzuto hangout — the Consenza Social Club. In one recording, organized crime figures Joe and Paolo Renda are caught on tape complaining angrily about Papa, alleging he had "fraudulently transferred" three million stock shares. In the transcript, Joe Renda is quoted as wanting "permission to grab Tony Papa alone, we put him in a basement."
|In the interviews, Papa says he is willing to co-operate with the securities regulator if it is kept confidential and "you guys can help me with some of my other problems as well." In 2013 Papa was also dealing with a Canada Revenue Agency audit that claimed he owed millions. Papa eventually paid $6 million.|
Instead of providing evidence against market manipulators, Papa says he was simply trying to sell the AMF on the idea of having him collect millions of dollars in funds. "I made it very clear. I'll charge you 50 per cent. Everything I collect I keep 50, I give you back 50 per cent" Papa told the fifth estate.
|Police and experts are in agreement ... the Calabrian mafia, confined for 40 years in the Toronto area, is returning to Montreal. Most believe it is only a matter of time before the 'Ndrangheta' (Calabrian mafia region of Italy) reestablishes dominance in Montreal.|
It isn't just revenge, there is a clear intention to eradicate the heads of the Sicilian faction of the Montreal Mafia and all of those in their circles. Experts believe it is certain that more associated with the Vito Rizzuto clan will be killed. That list has grown much shorter over the past year however.
Francesco Del Balso
|A man who had close ties to former crime boss Vito Rizzuto was gunned down in Laval on Saturday, in what police described as a "settling of accounts."
Vincenzo Spagnolo, 65, was killed at his home in the city's Vimont neighbourhood. Laval Police were called to a house on Antoine-Forestier Street at around 5:30 p.m. concerning a man who had been struck by multiple gunshots.|
Vincenzo Spagnolo was the best friend and trusted confidant of Vito Rizzuto, the former godfather of the Montreal Mafia. Spagnolo was one of those who had received the godfather in Toronto in October 2012, when Vito Rizzuto returned to Canada after spending six years in US jails for his involvement in the murders of three captains of the Bonanno clan in 1981.
|Juan Ramon Fernandez, right, with Giuseppe Carbone shortly before Carbone helped kill him.||Two mobsters in Sicily were sentenced to life in prison for killing two gangsters from Canada. Juan Ramon Fernandez, 56, had been deported from Canada when he was cut down in a hail of bullets in 2013. Dying beside him in the ambush was Fernando Pimentel, 36, of Mississauga, who was visiting Italy to help his exiled boss.|
Pietro Scaduto, 51, Salvatore Scaduto, 54, and Giuseppe Carbone shot Fernandez and Pimentel on April 9, 2013. Carbone became a cooperating witness against the brothers.
|Pietro Scaduto, left, Salvatore Scaduto.|
|Fernandez had torn loyalties. He was close to both Rizzuto and Desjardins and owed much to each of them. Desjardins had first brought Fernandez into a higher echelon of crime but it was Rizzuto who gave him his true power. Fernandez claimed Rizzuto even inducted him as a “made man” of the Mafia — despite him being Spanish not Italian. Fernandez’s sin was his failure to chose a side: He was “like a priest who visits all the churches,” Carbone was told.|
The order to kill Fernandez came from Canada.
|The bodies were dumped in a shallow grave and set ablaze. The car was then driven to a different location and also set on fire to destroy evidence. Unable to resist profit Carbone slipped an expensive watch off Fernandez’s wrist. It had been a gift to him from Rizzuto.|
Carbone was later caught trying to sell the watch, leading to his arrest. He agreed to help police with their investigation and to testify against his co-accused, becoming a “pentito” in Italian parlance.
Raynald Desjardins was into his second bottle of wine when two detectives visited him on the evening of 25 November 2011. Police reported that he was "nervous". It was the day after Desjardins had conspired to kill Salvatore (Sal the Iron Worker) Montagna.
|Shot three times, Montagna smashed through a window of the house to save himself.|
Five days before, Montagna had sent him a text message ... "I want you to know that you are my friend (lol) and I will never let you down. I hope we can settle our disputes". Montagna then agreed that Jack Simpson - a Desjardins man - get him to take him to the meeting. But Desjardins was not there. Five minutes after his arrival, Montagna fled Simpson's house with three .357 gunshot wounds.
Footprints at the edge of the river were consistent with Jack Simpson's boots.
|The day after the murder of aspiring godfather Salvatore Montagna, Raynald Desjardins was obsessed by the fear of being killed. The boss was worried, anxious and irritable. He is not satisfied with the armored Lexus he procured after being targeted in mid-September. He arranges to import an armoured GMC Denali SUV equipped with a bomb protection system. Desjardins is arrested the next day.|
Raynald Desjardins in 2011
|During a brief hearing at the Gouin Courthouse, Desjardins expressed no objection to having his sentence hearing pushed back to Dec. 19, even though he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit the murder of Salvatore (Sal the Iron Worker) Montagna more than a year ago.|
Montagna was killed weeks after someone made an attempt on Desjardins’s life in Laval. Desjardins immediately suspected Montagna. The two men had been partners for several months in an attempt to take control of the Montreal Mafia away from the Rizzuto organization, but their alliance fell apart early in 2011.
|Desjardins used to be a right-hand man to Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto.|
|Six men pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of taking part in the conspiracy to murder Montagna. Vittorio Mirarchi (38); Jack Simpson (73); Calogero Milioto (44); Pietro Magistrale (64); Steven Fracas (31); and Steven D’Addario (38) — admitted their role in the conspiracy to kill Montagna, who was shot dead on November 24, 2011. Their sentencing is scheduled to be held late in October.||Vito Rizzuto|
|The morning that Salvatore Montagna was shot three times and died on a river bank outside Montreal, Raynald Desjardins was having breakfast elsewhere in town with his daughter and chatting about her wedding photo album. Shortly after the killing, Desjardins sent a Blackberry message to his associate, Vittorio Mirarchi: “Done.”|
“Perfect,” came the reply. Police who were wiretapping Desjardin’s mobile phone immediately knew who was behind the 2011 murder.
|Leonardo Rizzuto|| Testimony from an unnamed witness will be part of the preliminary inquiry in Project Mastiff, a lengthy drug trafficking investigation into Leonardo Rizzuto, 47, and Stefano Sollecito, 48, alleged Mafia leaders who were arrested along with 46 other people last November. |
Publication bans on photos of informants have been routine, but preventing the publication of an informant’s name is a rare step. All of the people charged in Project Mastiff already know the man’s name.
|Loris Cavaliere||Rizzuto, the son of now-deceased Mob boss Vito Rizzuto, was denied bail months ago and sat among several other accused in a prisoner’s dock designed to seat dozens. Sollecito, who was granted bail and is suffering from cancer, was not present for the hearing. |
Also not present was lawyer Loris Cavaliere. His lawyer, Martin Subak, informed Fafard that Cavaliere, 62, intends to renounce his right to be part of the preliminary inquiry. The defence lawyer is charged with participating in the activities of a criminal organization, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. Another person who asked for permission to attend only part of the preliminary inquiry was Alexandra Mongeau, 26, the daughter of Maurice (Mom) Boucher.
|Maurice (Mom) Boucher||Project Mastiff uncovered a plot to murder Raynald Desjardins, 62, a longtime associate of Vito Rizzuto. Desjardins is awaiting his sentence after pleading guilty to taking part in a plot to murder Salvatore Montagna, who was a leading member of a group that tried to take control of the Mafia in Montreal until he was killed on Nov. 24, 2011.|
Maurice (Mom) Boucher who is serving a life sentence at a penitentiary in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, is alleged to have issued the order to kill Desjardins. Boucher used his pregnant daughter, Alexandra Mongeau, to relay messages to Gregory Woolley, 43, a former underling in the Hells Angels who acted as Boucher’s bodyguard during the 1990s. Woolley is alleged to have been the key man in the alliance of organized crime groups uncovered by Project Magot and Mastiff. The conspiracy to murder Desjardins began in July and ended on Nov. 9.
|Vincenzo Falduto and his 23-year-old brother Giuseppe went missing on June 30, 2016. Montreal police believe they were together at the time.|
The brothers had ties to Marco Pizzi, 46, an influential figure within the Montreal Mafia who was arrested May 11 in an RCMP-led drug-trafficking investigation dubbed Project Clemenza. Vincenzo Falduto was recently released from a federal penitentiary to a halfway house. He had received a three-year sentence for illegal possession of two handguns. Falduto believed a Reds, or Bloods-affiliated street gang wanted to kill him.
|Marco Pizzi is closely linked to the Rizzuto organization. In 2005, Marco Pizzi held enough sway that he could walk into the Consenza Social Club, the organization’s former headquarters in St-Léonard and hold a meeting with its top leaders. The RCMP had cameras and microphones hidden inside the café as part of Project Colisée when, on Dec. 13, 2005, Pizzi had a long conversation with Francesco Del Balso, 46, and Rocco Sollecito, 67. |
Sollecito was recently killed and Francesco 'chit' Del Balso was returned to prison for his own safety.
Francesco 'chit' Del Balso
|Gordon Baird, 59, admitted he was the administrator of the Platinum Sports Book, a sophisticated betting operation in Ontario that set up its servers in Costa Rica. |
Platinum employed hundreds of bookies servicing thousands of clients within the Toronto area. The bookies signed up their own clients, collected their debts and paid out their winnings on a weekly basis. The money flowed up the pyramid, court heard, with the top acting as “the bank.”
|A financial audit of seized betting records show that between 2009 and 2013 Platinum grossed more than $103 million. Police seized $4.6 million in cash during its probe.|
In 2012, $1.3 million in cash was found in the backpack of Erwin Speckert as he boarded a bus from Winnipeg to Vancouver. The source of the money was Platinum. Speckert was sentenced last year to three years for money laundering.
|The day after the police Super Bowl raid and the seizing of Platinum’s websites, identical websites were already back up, with the domain name switching from a .com address to a .tk address — signifying registration in Tokelau, three tiny coral atolls in the South Pacific.|
Police confirmed that Baird had registered the websites. Judge John McMahon accepted Baird’s guilty plea to a charge of bookmaking as participation in a criminal organization. Because Baird had no criminal record and pleaded guilty before trial, McMahon accepted a joint submission for an 18-month conditional sentence (to be served in Baird’s home) and a $400,000 fine. Baird handed over $50,000 and was given a year to pay the remainder.
|Rob Barletta||In another courtroom in the same Toronto courthouse, two co-accused in the case — Rob Barletta and Andrew Bielli, both linked to the Hells Angels pleaded not guilty to charges including bookmaking for the benefit of a criminal organization and possession of the proceeds of crime.|
Among the accused is William “Billy” Miller, a former chapter president of the Hells Angels. Also charged were: Martin Spruce, David Hair, Arno Thomsen, and Shlomo Buchler. Police consider Miller, Hair and Spruce to be the leaders.
William “Billy” Miller
|Vito Rizzuto made a serious effort to find the man suspected of killing his eldest son and wanted him captured alive to make him suffer, recently released court documents allege. Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto was incarcerated in the U.S. in December 2009 when his son Nick (The Ritz) Rizzuto was killed.|
Ducarme Joseph was informed by a police detective on Sept. 9, 2009 that there was a contract on his life. At one point it was alleged multiple teams of hired killers were looking for Joseph.
Nick (The Ritz) Rizzuto
Ducarme (Kenny) Joseph
|For years, police sources had described Ducarme (Kenny) Joseph as a suspect in the murder. Joseph — also known as Kenny, Ducarmel and King Kenny — cheated death for years as leader of Montreal’s 67s street gang, but his luck ran out when he was gunned down just around the corner from his mother’s home on August 1, 2014.|
The motive behind Nick Rizzuto’s murder has never been made clear, although many speculate it was ultimately the hand of Bonanno Boss Salvatore 'the ironworker' Montagna along with Joe Di Maulo and Raynald Desjardins. Joseph was also the prime suspect in the murder of Frederico Del Peschio, a close associate of Vito Rizzuto’s who was gunned down near his restaurant in Montreal on Aug. 21, 2009.
Nicolo Rizzuto Sr. with his defence lawyer Loris Cavalière
|When Louis Cavaliere was arrested in November, the SQ alleged his law offices on St. Laurent Blvd in Little Italy were used for multiple meetings between organized crime figures. But according to information contained in the affidavit, Cavaliere was involved in drug-trafficking along with his clients. |
Cavailiere was linked to Hasan Eroglu, a close friend of Lorenzo Giordano, who was known to police as the leader of the K-Crew, a group that specialized in selling heroin in Montreal. The K-Crew were involved in a conflict with the Hells Angels about a decade ago. Eroglu was fatally shot, on July 5, 2007. The homicide remains unsolved.
|On August 3 it was reported that alleged Montreal mafioso Marco Pizzi was seemingly the target of a failed mafia hit.|
According to the report, Marco Pizzi was followed by masked and armed hitmen in a stolen car that collided with him at an intersection in Montreal in an attempt to get Pizzi out of his car. As he exited his car the hitmen drew their weapons but Pizzi was able to flee on foot escaping without any shots being fired. The masked suspects also fled leaving police with only a minimal description.
The leadership table is believed to be out of control after the arrests of alleged mob bosses Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito and the murders of influential leaders Lorenzo Giordano in March and Rocco Sollecito in May. The old guard of the Rizzuto family and those close to it are being pushed out by a new faction. It remains a mystery as to who exactly are behind these attacks and who will take control of the mafia in Montreal.
|Pizzi is a suspected cocaine importer with close ties to the Rizzuto crime family. Pizzi was arrested in May along with other members of the Montreal mafia as part of an extensive drug operation by the RCMP. He was accused of gangsterism, cocaine importation, and conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Also arrested among others was co-defendant Liborio “Pancho” Cuntrera the son of deceased Rizzuto family leader Agostino Cuntrera. Pancho Cuntrera was considered to be part of the Montreal mafia leadership table that took control of the Rizzuto family after the death of Vito Rizzuto.||Liborio “Pancho” Cuntrera|
|Pizze had close ties to Montreal mobster Tonino Callocchia a Rizzuto family ally who was murdered in 2014.|
Francesco 'Chit' Del Balso