Zummo presided over a videotaped 2015 NY Mafia induction ceremony for mobster turned informant Vincent (Enzo) Morena that took place in Canada. Morena’s Mob pals at the time were unaware that Italian born Brooklyn mobster had been working with the feds for more than three years. During the ceremony, Zummo tells Morena “From this day forward you’re gonna be an official member of the Bonanno family.” Zummo was officially charged with conspiring to smuggle large amounts of cocaine into the U.S. and money laundering. The joint US-Canadian operation led to arrests of mobsters from both the U.S. and Canada.
As part of his plea deal, he agreed to plead guilty to selling a kilogram of cocaine back in 2017. In exchange for his guilty plea prosecutors agreed to drop the rest of the charges and not seek a prison term of more than five years. The judge will still have the final say at sentencing which should occur sometime later this year. His lone drug charge has a recommended sentence of between 37-46 months so it’s unlikely that the judge would try to expand beyond the five-year agreement. It seems like he got an offer he couldn’t refuse since before the plea deal he was facing life behind bars if convicted.
It’s still unclear as to whether or not the feds plan to release the videotaped NY Mafia induction ceremony. It wasn’t part of the plea agreement between Damiano Zummo and the feds and wasn’t mentioned in court when the deal was announced. The feds made a big deal of Zummo’s role in the induction ceremony last year during a bail hearing. The recording was the first of it’s kind and was described as an extraordinary achievement for law enforcement and a blow to Cosa Nostra so it’s surprising that the star of that ceremony would get what seems to be a rather light plea deal.
The joint US-Canadian operation also generated more questions about the ongoing links between mafia families in the U.S. and Canada. Not only did a New York Mafia induction ceremony take place in Canada but alleged members of Buffalo Mafia in Hamilton were arrested. The Mafia in Buffalo also known as the Todaro crime family has been considered by many to have been all but defunct. If you want to read more about Project OTremens you can do so here. For more information on the current state of the Buffalo mob and its potential connections to the Bonanno family and Canada check out our previous article here