Carmelo Bruzzese was a no show at a hearing of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board to determine whether or not the alleged Ndrangheta or Calabrian mafia boss will be shipped back to Italy where he is wanted on charges of mafia association. The mobster refused to leave his cell to attend the hearing because he was unhappy with security measures being taken. The hearing was to be held in a secure room away from witnesses and observers and police security was to be used to transport Bruzzese. His lawyer said they were uncomfortable with the heavy security being used because it was a trick to make the defendant seem like more of a dangerous person and security threat and that neither her or her client would attend under those conditions.
Perhaps the security measures being used are very warranted because of the unrest in the criminal underworld in Canada at the moment. The backlash continues from a mafia war between the Rizzuto crime family in Montreal and a break away faction believed to be backed by the Ndrangheta over control of the drug trade. The Montreal mafia war did not end with the death of Vito Rizzuto as many predicted and the violence has continued. It is still unclear if the recent violence is revenge for the attempted take over by the remaining elements of the Rizzuto family or a power struggle between factions looking to fill the leadership void.
According to police Bruzzese was a close associate of Carmine Verducci also an alleged member of the Calabrian mafia as well as an associate of the New York based Gambino crime family. Verducci was gunned down in April in a mob hit in the ongoing mafia war and it is believed other Ndrangheta members could be targets. Italian authorities claim Bruzzese is a high ranking mafia member and has been caught on wiretaps having conversations with top mob leaders in Italy and Canada. This could be the obvious reason for the added security being used by Canadian authorities and perhaps Bruzzese should not be opposed to it so quickly.