Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito alleged bosses of the Montreal mafia have been denied bail by a Quebec Court Justice. Both mobsters have been in prison since November when they were arrested on charges of gangsterism and drug trafficking among others as part of the Project Magot investigation.
The bail hearing took place just days after the murder of Lorenzo Giordano a high-ranking Montreal mob member. Giordano was once a member of an interim leadership committee which ran the Rizzuto crime family back in the early 2000s, according to reports and had just recently been released from prison. His execution was a clear sign of further instability within the Rizzuto family and likely helped to influence the denial of bail for Rizzuto and Sollecito.
“Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito“
The bail hearing lasted 10 days ultimately leading to the decision, but the defense could not produce the proof required to show their clients were not present a danger to the public if released. Mafia experts believe a power vacuum has existed within the Montreal mob since the 2013 death of godfather Vito Rizzuto. It was reported that a leadership table led by Leonardo and Stefano has been established to run the Rizzuto family day to day operations although instability remained. Their arrest had led to an increase in that instability and seems like rival factions may now be vying for control of the mafia in Montreal. Giordano was believed to be a member of a faction which included former Rizzuto family street boss Francesco Arcadi that may have been planning an attempt to take control.
It is still unknown if Rizzuto or Sollecito or members of the faction loyal to them were responsible for the Giordano hit, although it is surely a theory being examined by authorities. The growing instability in the Montreal underworld and this new act of violence seemingly made the denial of bail for the mafia duo an afterthought.