Oh, the humanity!
Will the bloodshed among rival factions within the Montreal Mafia ever end?
Tonino Callocchia, a convicted drug trafficker and money launderer who joined a rebel group to dethrone queen bee Vito Rizzuto, was gunned down yesterday afternoon in a Rivière-des-Prairies restaurant as reported by Paul Cherry for the Montreal Gazette: "'He was a big player (within the Mafia). That is certain,' said one police source on Monday."
Mob watchers suspect that the 'Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia has backed a breakaway group from the Rizzuto clan of the Sicilian Mafia for control over the drug rackets in Montreal and New York, and the turf war has resulted in dozens of murders over the last few years.
Vito Rizzuto, an oft-described "drug trafficking mastermind," died last year from lung cancer. The mob boss was released from a U.S. prison in 2012 after serving several years on a racketeering conviction involving the 1981 murders of three Bonanno capos in New York City, and while he was doing time the mob rebellion claimed his son Nick Jr. in 2009 and family patriarch Nicolo in 2010.
Police suspect the Rizzuto rebellion was led by Raynald Desjardins. Desjardins currently is in prison awaiting trial for his alleged role in the November 2011 slaying of ex-Bonanno boss Salvatore "Sal the Ironworker" Montagna who police suspect had allied himself with the breakaway group until the relationship soured.
Earlier this year Italian and American police arrested dozens of suspected mobsters on both sides of the Atlantic for their alleged roles in a joint drug smuggling plot between the Gambino family and the Calabrian Mafia.
Further reading that may be of interest: