The Montreal mafia has been in a state of disarray since the death of longtime boss Vito Rizzuto and after a short lull, the violence has returned to the city’s underworld.
In a recent interview with the Montreal Gazette, former RCMP intelligence analyst and mafia author Pierre de Champlain gave his take on what is fueling the bloodshed in and around the mafia and what may lie ahead. Champlain is a leading mob insider and more often than not has an accurate take on organized crime in Montreal and across Canada. He called the ongoing situation on Montreal complex and difficult to follow and that he believed many remaining Montreal mafiosi are nervous, wondering if they are going to be next.
“Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito”
According to law enforcement reports Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito are the new bosses of the Montreal mob, but have been unable to bring together the mafia clans in Montreal explains Champlain. The duo attempted to form new alliances with the Hells Angels and local street gangs only to have them fractured by recent events.
No one has been able to stand out as an uncontested leader of the mafia in Montreal since the death of Vito back in 2013 which has caused the situation to remain violent and unstable. Sollecito and Rizzuto lead the Sicilian faction of the Rizzuto crime family or at least what remains of it, but there are other factions and rivalries and he believes there is someone trying to take control by inserting themselves into the conflict.
Sept. 18, 2015: Marco Claudio Campellone, 24, is shot and killed near his home in Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles in a case that may be linked to the Mafia and drug turfs.
Nov. 19, 2015: In a major operation, police arrest the alleged heads of Montreal’s most powerful criminal organizations and declare the Mafia, the Hells Angels and street gangs were working together. Among the 48 people arrested are Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito, described as the heads of the Montreal Mafia. Others charged included: Maurice (Mom) Boucher, the former Hells Angels leader currently serving a life sentence; Salvatore Cazzetta, alleged leader of the Hells Angels; and street-gang leaders Dany Cadet Sprinces and Grégory Woolley.
Dec. 10, 2015: A café and a restaurant on Jean-Talon St. E. in St-Michel are firebombed. Nobody is injured and damage is minimal. The targeted buildings are reportedly linked to the Montreal Mafia.
March 1: Lorenzo Giordano, 52, a leading member of the Montreal Mafia who may have been in line to leader the organization, is shot dead while sitting in a car in a Laval parking lot.
March 21: A 42-year-old man is shot dead in a parking lot in Terrebonne, north of Montreal. Reports say his name was Yannick Larose had ties to the Hells Angels.
March 28: A 44-year-old man is shot and seriously injured in a Rivière-des-Prairies home. Police suspect the incident is linked to organized crime. Reports say the victim’s name was Nino De Bartolomeis.
It’s still unclear as to where this stems from and Champlain brings up many possibilities. Is it a faction within the Montreal Sicilians? Is it the Calabrese? Could it be mobsters outside of Montreal possibly from Hamilton or Toronto trying to insert themselves into the conflict? At this point, anything is possible explains the mob author and it’s difficult to come up with a stable theory as to who will emerge as the new power within the Montreal mafia. Vito was known for his ability to act as a moderator between criminal factions and keep the peace between the various organized crime groups. This is something the new leaders, whoever they may be, will have a hard time regaining with what has happened over the last few years says Champlain.