As the bloody fight for control of the Montreal mafia rages on the city of Laval has decided its time for a more aggressive approach.
Police chief Pierre Brochet announced the creation of a special organized crime squad called Project Répercussion. The city of Laval has been a battleground for rival mafia factions leading to multiple murders including the brutal hit on Salvatore Scoppa just days ago. According to reports Scoppa was killed at a reception celebrating his son’s confirmation. A gunman fired multiple shots inside of the Sheraton Hotel in Laval putting hundreds of innocent people including children at risk. When talking about the incident Brochet said: “That an individual would fire several shots inside a hotel without considering the repercussions — that is unacceptable.”
Over the past few years, several people with ties to the mafia including Rizzuto crime family leaders Lorenzo Giordano and Rocco Sollecito have been murdered in Laval. These along with the Scoppa murder among others remain unsolved as law enforcement has struggled in their efforts to put an end to the violence. The newly formed organized crime squad will include investigators from the Laval police department, the RCMP, and the Sûreté du Québec according to the release. It will be composed of uniformed officers and investigators that specialize in organized crime.
“Together, the members of this project will be omnipresent in the places frequented by individuals linked to organized crime, notably bars, restaurants, and other licensed establishments,” according to the information provided in the release. This Project Répercussion squad could be the beginning of Canada’s version of the organized crime squads that were formed years ago in New York to battle the five families of the New York Mafia. These squads and or tasks forces were extremely effective in putting together cases and taking down various members of the Mafia. For years when it came to mafia news out of New York they were almost always part of the story.
It will be interesting to see what kind of effect this new squad can have on the ongoing Montreal mafia war. During the days of Vito Rizzuto, the old school rules and regulations of the Mafia were followed at least to some extent. A brutal hit in front of innocent women and children would have been discouraged at the highest levels of the administration. But time changes all and these new players don’t seem to have any regard for how things were done in the past.
With Vito gone and the Rizzuto family seemingly transforming into the Sollecito-Rizzuto organization under new boss Stefano Sollecito things have become increasingly unstable leading to more and more bloodshed. With no end to the conflict in sight and mafia hits becoming more and more brazen Canadian law enforcement well at least in Laval seems to finally be going on the offensive in an effort to keep it contained. In the end, tougher laws like the RICO act in the states may ultimately be needed to win the war but the fight has to start somewhere.