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Montreal RCMP arrest Mafia gangsters - seizing guns and drugs

The accused face different charges that include: “conspiracy, drug importation, trafficking, possession, kidnapping, forcible confinement, possession of weapons, explosives, arson, extortion, and assault.”
The accused face different charges that include: “conspiracy, drug importation, trafficking, possession, kidnapping, forcible confinement, possession of weapons, explosives, arson, extortion, and assault.”

Another Montreal gangland sweep nets 33 people throughout Quebec who are accused of being part of criminal organizations. The accused face different charges that include: “conspiracy, drug importation, trafficking, possession, kidnapping, forcible confinement, possession of weapons, explosives, arson, extortion, and assault.”

Giovanni Gerbasi of Gatineau, 49, (centre) WANTED by RCMP
RCMP Handout

Some 200 officers took part in the operation under the guidance of the RCMP's Quebec detachment, with more than 80 charges were filed in court.

RCMP Superintendent Michel Arcand stated, "This is the most important interception of its kind performed as part of a major investigation in North America." Quebec RCMP used BlackBerry surveillance to put a major dent in Montreal’s criminal underworld - targeting key members of two Italian-based criminal organizations.

Operating with the help of BlackBerry, investigators intercepted approximately 1 million PIN-to-PIN messages between suspected gang members, and used that information to identify suspects connected to the two Italian-based crime cells.

Both Mafia cells, described by the RCMP as "violent and active," emerged after a 2006 police operation code-named Colisée left the Montreal Mafia's leadership in disarray. Some Suspects are alleged to have set fire at two Montreal cafes, and to have carried out kidnappings to exert control over cocaine trafficking in Montreal.

"We were dealing with two very organized and dangerous groups that were willing to do anything to achieve their goals and had the means to do it," Arcand said. A table displaying machine-guns seized, and taken off Montreal streets during a previous raid with links to Clemenza, clearly indicates the potential for violence and death. Project Colisée, as it was known, brought the Rizzuto clan to its knees.

Montreal Mafia history of violent killings:

Montreal's most notorious Mafia family — Nicolo (Nick) Rizzuto — was killed inside his luxurious family mansion in northwest Montreal when was killed by a sniper who snuck up to his house through a forested area and shot him through double-paned glass with a high-powered rifle, killing him instantly

On or about November 10, 2010. Nicolo Rizzuto, 86, lived through more than a half century of underworld turbulence. “He was the last of the real godfathers,” said Antonio Nicaso, a GTA expert on the underworld who has written several books on the Mafia.

Nicolo Rizzuto’s alleged hitman, Salvatore “Sam” Calautti, 40, was shot dead in his BMW on or about July 13, 2013.

Before Rizzuto’s death, he owned a construction company that won municipal contacts in Montreal in a complex maze of fixed-bidding, government kick-backs, and political corruption in Quebec.

On JUNE 06, 2014, “MONTREAL - A Canadian whose drug ring allegedly imported 400 kilos of cocaine into the country every month has been found cut to pieces in Colombia.” Police say the ring brought 75 kilos of cocaine to Canada every week and was among more than 100 people sought by provincial police in a massive anti-drug operation launched in 2012 the Mafia and their associates. In a ‘settling of accounts’, this was the second fugitive from the drug ring to be murdered in such a horrific fashion.

Canada’s Mafia ‘Time Line’ History of Violence:

February 1, 1954 – “Nicolo Rizzuto Sr. arrived in Canada after travelling by ship aboard the ocean liner MS Vulcania from Sicily with his wife Libertina, their daughter Maria and their son Vito, who celebrated his eighth birthday as the ship pulled into the harbour in Halifax.”

January 20, 1978 – “The head of the Calabrian Mafia in Canada, Paola Violi was shot and killed at close range at a Montreal cafe. His death, and the murder two years later of Rocco Violi, allegedly marked the beginning of the Rizzuto organization’s hold over Montreal.”

May 5, 1981 – “Three high-ranking members of the Bonanno crime family in New York, Philip Giaccone, Alphonse Indelicato and Dominick Trinchera, were murdered in a nightclub in Brooklyn.”

2003 – “Although Rizzuto had earned the monicker “Teflon Don” because he faced and beat drug charges two times, things changed when a Brooklyn federal grand jury indicted him for allegedly being one of four gunmen hired by Joe Massino to kill Philip Giaccone, Alphonse Indelicato and Dominick Trinchera.”

November 11, 2006 – “Over a period of several years, investigators bugged and videotaped meetings inside the Consenza Social Club, a cafe in Montreal believed to be the Rizzuto headquarters.”

August 21, 2009 – “In the first of a series of attacks on the Rizzuto family, convicted drug dealer and close family associate Federico del Peschio was shot to death in Montreal.”

December 28, 2009 – “Vito Rizzuto’s son, Nick Jr., was gunned down beside his car in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighbourhood.”

November 24, 2011 – “Sal “the Ironworker” Montagna’s body was found. He had been shot multiple times on a small island in the Assomption River in Laval, Quebec.”

December 21, 2011 – “Six suspects were arrested in the murder of Salvatore Montagna, including Raynald Desjardins.”

September 26, 2012 – “Police and a former construction boss testified about a kickback scheme involving the Rizzutos, the construction industy and city officials as part of the province’s anti-corruption inquiry. Tapes of construction bosses handing over cash to Nick Rizzuto Sr. and associates were made public for the first time.”

The RCMP, well known for ‘always getting their man’ no matter how long it takes, prompted a letter from the Italian community to the RCMP, calling the link used this month was unacceptable, counterproductive and showing a lack of judgment.

The project code name refers to Peter Clemenza, a fictional character from the novel and movie The Godfather, which is the sweeping saga of an Italian crime family.

Following this month’s Mafia sweep by RCMP, an apology was made for using the code name “Clemenza” to describe the most recent bust. The moniker was denounced as negative stereotyping by members of the Italian community. The force’s commanding officer in the province said he was sorry in a letter to the National Congress of Italian Canadians Quebec chapter for the federal agency calling the roundup “Project Clemenza.”

The RCMP’s highest-ranking officer in the province offered his sincere apologies, and no further interviews will be granted on this sensitive subject.

Mafia Code of Conduct and Customs:

Members of the Mafia are constrained in their actions by a strict code of conduct and customs which must be respected, otherwise severe sanctions are applied. In order to obtain special permissions, a Mafioso must seek the approval of a superior.
In 1900, the code was revised to include the following:

1. To help one another and avenge every injury of a fellow member.

2. To work with all means for the defense and freeing of any fellow member who has fallen into the hands of the judiciary.

3. To divide the proceeds of thievery, robbery and extortion with certain consideration for the needy as determined by the capo. 4.

To keep the oath and maintain secrecy on pain of death within twenty-four hours. (Ianni 136)

In conclusion, the Mafia was able to build an empire in Montreal without arising suspicion. The origin of the current Montreal mafia is in Italy, both from Sicily and Calabria. The structure of the Mafia is the best organized out of any other criminal organizations in Canada.

David Love

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