The most dangerous Italian mobsters of all time, and why.

Salvatore Toto Riina The former boss of the Sicilian Mafia was born in Corleone in 1930. His reputation precedes him as one of the most feared mob bosses ever; during his criminal career, he murdered at least 40 people, something he started at an early age of only 17 when he became a member of…

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Mafia in Italy redirecting COVID vaccine to friends as elderly die

Italian officials are currently investigating the Italian mafia possibly redirecting Italy’s supply of COVID vaccines away from those in “priority vaccination groups” and giving it to their friends and family, as reported by the NY Post.

A main point of concern has been the deaths among the elderly in the country, which has recently increased significantly. Italy has struggled in its vaccine rollout and the prime minister has blamed the rise on younger people “cutting the line”.

By the end of January, around seven out of every ten people who received the vaccine in Italy were under 60 years old and at least 1,000 are now under investigation across Italy, according to Politico, for not waiting their turn.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi said at a news conference, “With what conscience does someone jump the queue, knowing that it leaves another person vulnerable, who is more than 65 years old or is fragile and who has a concrete risk of death?”

An international think tank found an estimated 8,000 lives could have been saved in the country if more elderly people had been able to get the vaccine when needed, according to Politico.

The mafia has historically exerted control over the health care industry in Italy, especially in the south, where the number of people giving themselves the health care worker title has grown exponentially as this group is among the first to be vaccinated, causing suspicion to arise.

Several regions in the south have reportedly given as many shots to well-connected people like judges, politicians and journalists as people over 80.

“People are being vaccinated who are outside of any priority category specified by the government, particularly in some regions where there is high density of mafia and we suspect that the mafia is managing the vaccinations,” Mario Giarrusso, a member of the country’s anti-mafia commission, told Politico.

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Concern in Italy that mafia redirecting vaccine to friends as elderly die

Authorities in Italy are investigating whether the Italian mafia is redirecting the country’s supply of coronavirus vaccines away from those who need it most and giving it to their friends and family, according to a report.

Deaths among the elderly have increased in the country, which has struggled in its vaccine rollout and the prime minister has blamed the rise on younger people jumping the line.

By the end of January, around seven out of every 10 people who received the vaccine in Italy were under 60 years old and at least 1,000 alleged line jumpers are now under investigation across the country, according to Politico.

“With what conscience does someone jump the queue, knowing that it leaves another person vulnerable, who is more than 65 years old or is fragile and who has a concrete risk of death?” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said at a news conference.

An estimated 8,000 lives could have been saved in Italy if more elderly people had been able to get the vaccine, an international think tank found, according to Politico. 

The mafia often exerts control over health care in the country especially in the south, Politico reported, where the number of people calling themselves health care workers has grown exponentially as the group is among the first to be vaccinated, causing suspicion. 

Several regions in the south have reportedly given as many shots to well-connected people like judges, politicians and journalists as people over 80.

“People are being vaccinated who are outside of any priority category specified by the government, particularly in some regions where there is high density of mafia and we suspect that the mafia is managing the vaccinations,” Mario Giarrusso, a member of the country’s anti-mafia commission, told Politico.

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Street gang member who acted as getaway driver in St-Léonard Mob hit denied parole

Edrick Antoine was one of five men who pleaded guilty to conspiring to kill Gaetan Gosselin, a longtime friend of gangster Raynald Desjardins.

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A street gang member who acted as the getaway driver when a close friend of organized crime leader Raynald Desjardins was murdered in St-Léonard in 2013 has been denied parole as he continues to serve time behind bars for his role in the homicide.

Edrick Antoine, 42, a member of a Reds-affiliated street gang called Unit 44, was part of a group that clashed with another group tied to the Montreal Mafia eight years ago. He took part in the Jan. 22, 2013 murder of Gaetan Gosselin, a longtime friend and business associate of Desjardins.

“According to your file, the murder was related to maintaining control of a drug distribution territory. You mentioned that when you discovered that a rival gang wanted to rub out one of your friends and yourself, you decided that you had no choice but to act if you wanted to stay alive. You did not want to reflect further on the consequences and you considered the murder to be the only possible solution. You stated that you were comfortable with your involvement in the murder of a criminalized individual,” the Parole Board of Canada noted in its recent decision to deny Antoine both full and day parole.

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The written decision also notes that Antoine was placed under protection for the first six months of his sentence because “you had a contract on your head.”

He was denied a release because his case-management team, the people who prepare an offender for parole, assessed Antoine to still be a high risk to public safety and someone who is likely to reoffend before his sentence expires.

One thing that did not help Antoine’s chances for parole was that he is alleged to have threatened a Correctional Service Canada guard last June and told the guard he’d see him again when his sentence expires.

In 2017, Antoine pleaded guilty, along with four other men, to being part of a conspiracy to commit murder. When he was sentenced in June 2017, he was left with a prison term of eight years and 10 months.

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After Gosselin was killed, Montreal police investigators uncovered evidence that Harry Mytil, a Montreal street gang leader, issued orders for the hit from Toronto to the men who plotted to kill Gosselin. Mytil was killed at his home in Laval three months after Gosselin was murdered.

According to the written summary of the board’s decision, Antoine concedes he is a street gang member but denied the allegation that he is considered a gang leader. He also boasted he is a “good” cannabis and crack dealer “because you were rarely caught.”

“Based on the information (presented at the parole hearing), the board can see that you have initiated a process of change and that small steps have been taken in the right direction. However, considering your long road ahead, the board is of the opinion that you have not made sufficient observable and measurable changes required by law to be granted day or full parole at this stage of this sentence,” the board wrote in its decision.

Coincidentally, Antoine was turned down for a release on the same day the Parole Board of Canada imposed a series of conditions on Desjardins’s upcoming statutory release. He is serving time for his leading role in a plot to murder a Mafioso in 2011.

pcherry@postmedia.com

  1. Top row: Edrick Antoine, Léonard Faustin Étienne, Olivier Gay. Second row: Stanley Minuty, Kevin Tate. The five pleaded guilty on charges related a plot to kill Gaetan Gosselin and Vincenzo Scuderi in 2013.

    ‘I have a taste for this’: Five men plead guilty in plot to murder Rizzuto rivals

  2. For decades, Raynald Desjardins had strong ties to both the Rizzuto organization and the Hells Angels in Quebec.

    Major Montreal organized crime figure Raynald Desjardins to be released soon

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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Night in Paradise’ on Netflix, a Korean Gangster Saga of Violence, Grimness and Other Miscellaneous Bleaknesses

There’s enough irony in the title of Netflix movie Night in Paradise to mow down a roomful of men with a hail of paradoxes. So it ain’t exactly Nights in Rodanthe, although writer/director Park Hoon-jung deposits an odd little romance at the gooey center of this blood-soaked bonbon of gangster violence, which is relentless in its remorseless grimness. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Gist: Tae-gu (Tae-goo Eom) business is killing, and business is good. He’s so good, a rival boss tries to poach him from Yang’s (Ho-san Park) employ. Tae-gu is also a kickass brother and uncle, visiting a doctor on the sly to see if he qualifies as a donor for his ailing sister, and doting on his adorable niece. His sister suggests he maybe should stop being a gangster so he can take care of the girl after she dies, and he winces a little at such a cavalier attitude towards death — funny, because he kills people, and also because what he’s about to experience is a Grand Guignol of stabbings, shootings and final breaths drawn.

But I’m getting ahead of things here. It’s just so tempting to jump ahead into all the bleak! Oh, wait — there’s plenty of bleak at the beginning of the movie, too. Tragedy occurs in like the first eight minutes, then Tae-gu exacts revenge with a very sharp knife, and the opening title card hasn’t even happened yet. His actions stir significant shit among the mobs, so Yang sends Tae-gu to Jeju Island, then attempts a power grab. An ill-fated power grab as it turns out, and as Yang’s maneuvers go south, Tae-gu, one of his best thugs, is on a little vacation. Not that he smiles a lot about anything, mind you, because there’s not much to smile about in this movie.

Tae-gu stays with a friend of the mob who pays the bills with provincial arms deals in which pistols are Saran-wrapped and hidden in boxes of rotting fish guts. The guy’s niece is Jae-yeon (Yeo-bin Jeon), who happens to be a dead shot with a 9mm. She and Tae-gu exchange banter so prickly, it makes a sea urchin look like a Beautyrest memory foam pillow. It’s about this time that people start dying unnaturally even more frequently than at the beginning of the movie, putting Jae-yeon and Tae-gu in a situation where they’re trying very hard not to be dead. That may be difficult for Jae-yeon, because she’s terminally ill and dying, and also difficult for Tae-gu since some greasy sonsabitches want his head. But really, aren’t we all just dying anyway?

Night in Paradise
Photo: Netflix

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: Night in Paradise would’ve fit in nicely with the slew of post-Pulp Fiction Tarantino ripoffs in the mid-’90s, except with most anything funny sluiced out like guts on the slaughterhouse floor.

Performance Worth Watching: At least Yeo-bin Jeon gives her character’s brand of fatalism a bit of empathetic soul.

Memorable Dialogue: Jae-yeon invites Tae-gu to bed in a manner befitting the movie’s gloomy tone: “It’s all right, I don’t care, I’ll be dead soon anyway.”

Sex and Skin: Somehow after that line, Tae-gu just wasn’t in the mood to do it.

Our Take: Night in Paradise has style for miles, from a negotiation among bosses that keenly integrates a lazy susan tabletop to a bracing car chase that turns into a wild roadside rumble. It also has death for miles, death death death, and multiple repetitions of the “I’ll be dead soon anyway” line, sometimes with varying pronouns, e.g., “you” and “we.” Knives, guns, fists, lead pipes — all are used to deliver finality, and I might have been disappointed that a threat with a very large crescent wrench wasn’t fulfilled if I hadn’t already seen so much blood to that point, with much, much more to come.

Teensy bits of comedy poke through the movie’s oppressive tonal stratus clouds, i.e., how morally corrupt shitbirds tend to chew and eat loudly, or how ridiculously contentious the exchanges between Tae-gu and Jae-yeon tend to be. Their “romance” is such that one assumes that lovebirds are extinct in this reality, the whole of the species rendered infertile by smothering coal smog. It takes 75 minutes for Jae-yeon to open up to her even a little bit, because nothing the movie does is fastidious — not character development nor plot movement nor death itself, which at long last occurs after much loss of blood and many shallow rasping breaths. All the better for us to ruminate in the merciless muck of death and many instances of quasi-operatic brutality, which are all the product of an admittedly amusing series of gangster code violations leading to an is-it-over-yet drawn-out choking-on-your-own-blood climax of gore. The lethargic pace at least allows one to occasionally notice that Jeju Island would be a beautiful place to live — and to die, of course.

Our Call: SKIP IT. Night in Paradise’s occasional blasts of directorial panache are ultimately squashed by its uncompromising fatalism. Banish it to the No Fun Zone.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more of his work at johnserbaatlarge.com or follow him on Twitter: @johnserba.

Watch Night in Paradise on Netflix

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Chicago Outfit bookmaker is going back to prison

Chicago Outfit bookmaker is going back to prison

Greg Paloian, 66, was handed two and a half years in prison on Wednesday for his involvement in running a significant sports gambling ring that brought in hundreds of thousands per month.

At the Dirksen Federal Building, Paloian implored Judge Joan Lefkow for a probation sentence instead due to his recent diagnosis of early stage Alzheimers.  The plea fell on deaf ears.

He copped a plea deal with the feds in January 2021 where he admitted to running his vast sports gambling operation and falsifying his tax documents.  Professional baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and college sports were all fair game.

Paloain was active on Facebook, where some reports say he was “flaunting his earnings” from his hundreds of thousands of monthly revenue and his earnings he extorted from hi-stakes losers.

Greg Paloian’s Facebook page.

When the dust settled, Judge Lefkow handed two and a half years to Paloain, leaving him to ask the judge, “What does this sentence accomplish?”. He believed this would ultimately be a “death sentence.”

His attorney stated that his client was “still digesting Wednesday’s disappointment” and denied to comment. Paloain must report to his prison facility by May 20th.

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Forging A New Path: Motown Dope Boss “Detroit D” Williams Swept Up In Federal Drug Case Out Of Vermont

April 9, 2021 – Instead of taking the usual route utilized by many Michigan drug lords of the past, which has traditionally pointed directly south or into the hills of Appalachia, reputed Motor City kingpin Dajuan (Detroit D) Williams decided to head east to the mountains of Vermont and backwoods of Maine and west to the badlands of Montana and North Dakota to seek his fortune in the dope game, according to U.S. Prosecutors. He built a vast empire of power and pills, they say, cultivating sales turf from the natives and cutting local dealers in for a piece of the pie.

“Detroit D” Williams, 28, and seven members of his organization were indicted on 16 counts of narcotics and money laundering conspiracy charges back in December out of Burlington, Vermont, but Williams wasn’t arraigned in federal court until this week. He pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

The DEA contends Williams flooded Vermont, Maine, Montana and North Dakota with cocaine, marijuana, speed, opiate pills in the late 2010s. DEA agents took Williams into custody on January 13 in Los Angeles at one of his various estates. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted in the case.

Williams was innovative in his decision to stay away from already-saturated markets in typical Detroit drug gang outposts like Kentucky, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia and instead focus on untapped territory in Vermont, Maine, Montana and North Dakota, noted an internal DEA memo circulated throughout federal law enforcement email chains in 2019. According to the indictment, Williams laundered narcotics proceeds through the purchase of several luxury vehicles, including a customized black-colored Maserati, a white Audi A7 and a grey BMW.

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Colombo soldier donated to Brooklyn Democrats

Reputed mobster behind Brooklyn’s Plaza Auto Mall, John Rosatti, has been handing out campaign donations to local Democrats — including the borough’s district attorney and its party boss, as first reported by the New York Post.

John Rosatti’s Plaza Motors of Brooklyn donated $2,020 to DA Eric Gonzalez for his winning 2017 campaign.  The next year, Rosatti gave $2,000 to Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, who succeeded longtime leader Frank Seddio as head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party in January 2020.

The following month, Plaza donated another $10,000 to the party, records show.

Pols “should be vetting contributions in order to make sure that there’s no attempt to influence them,” stated John Kaehny of the good-government group “Reinvent Albany.”

“What did this guy expect for his contribution — that’s the question the campaigns should ask themselves,” he explained.

Before amassing a reported $400 million fortune, Rosatti, 77, was identified by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement as an alleged soldier in the Colombo crime family, according to a 1993 decision by the state’s Casino Control Commission.

The ruling, which rejected a bid to bar Rosatti pal and reputed Colombo family member John Staluppi from the state’s casinos, cited testimony that confidential informants claimed Rosatti became a Colombo associate in 1980 and was sworn in as a “made member” in 1994.

In the mid-1970s, Rosatti was convicted  for attempted auto theft and again in 1994 on a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, for which he got probation and a $5,000 fine, the Village Voice reported in 1998.

FBI documents asserted that he pledged $50,000 to the insurgent mafia faction led by Victor “Little Vic” Orena during the long, bloody war for control of the Colombo family. Orena reportedly refused to provide vehicles so hit teams could search for supporters of the late boss Carmine “The Snake” Persico, the Voice said.

Rosatti also allegedly gave a no-show job to Orena’s son, also named Victor, with a gangster reportedly telling the younger Orena, “You’re the only salesman that never sells any cars and makes money.”

In recent years, Rosatti has made headlines by founding the BurgerFi fast-food franchise operation and for owning a series of superyachts.

One — a 162-foot, four-deck behemoth — is named the “Remember When,” which is also the title of a 2007 episode of The Sopranos and several cast members attended a party on board when Rosatti docked it at Battery Park City’s North Cove Marina for the 2011 Fourth of July celebration.

Rosatti now lives in Florida, where records show he owns a six-bedroom waterfront mansion with a swimming pool and a private dock in West Palm Beach that’s on the market for $9.5 million.

His local New York political contributions are among more than $250,000 in total that Rosatti has given out since 1985 at both the national and state levels, with most of the money given to Republicans last year, records show.

Plaza Auto Mall lawyer David Grandeau said, “Mr. Rosatti states that he is not now nor has he ever been a soldier of the Colombo crime family.”

“He made a political donation because he has business interests in Brooklyn, specifically Plaza Auto Mall, and he has donated to candidates of both the Republican and Democratic Parties, in and outside of Brooklyn,” added Grandeau, the former executive director of the Temporary State Commission on Lobbying.

The Gonzalez campaign said, “DA Gonzalez does not know Mr. Rosatti and has never received a personal contribution from him. However, four years ago there was a contribution from a car dealership affiliated with him.”

A spokesman for Bichotte and the Brooklyn Democratic Party said she was grieving the death of her mother and couldn’t be reached.

source: nypost

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Brooklyn DA, Dem party leader took campaign cash from reputed mobster

He really is “connected.”

The reputed wiseguy behind Brooklyn’s Plaza Auto Mall has been handing out campaign cash to local Democrats — including the borough’s district attorney and its party boss, The Post has learned.

John Rosatti’s Plaza Motors of Brooklyn donated $2,020 to DA Eric Gonzalez for his winning 2017 campaign and the next year gave $2,000 to Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, who in January 2020 succeeded longtime leader Frank Seddio as head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party.

The following month, Plaza donated another $10,000 to the party, records show.

John Kaehny of the good-government group “Reinvent Albany” said pols “should be vetting contributions in order to make sure that there’s no attempt to influence them.”

“What did this guy expect for his contribution — that’s the question the campaigns should ask themselves,” he added.

Before amassing a reported $400 million fortune, Rosatti, 77, was identified by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement as a soldier in the Colombo crime family, according to a 1993 decision by the state’s Casino Control Commission.

The ruling, which rejected a bid to bar Rosatti pal and reputed Colombo family member John Staluppi from the state’s casinos, cited testimony that confidential informants revealed how Rosatti became a Colombo associate in 1980 and was sworn in as a “made member” in 1994.

Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez speaking at a press conference on January 21, 2021.
Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez speaking at a press conference on January 21, 2021.
William Farrington

Rosatti was convicted in the mid-1970s for attempted auto theft and again in 1994 on a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, for which he got probation and a $5,000 fine, the Village Voice reported in 1998.

FBI memos showed that he pledged $50,000 to the insurgent mob faction led by Victor “Little Vic” Orena during the long, bloody war for control of the Colombo family but refused to provide vehicles so hit teams could search for the late boss Carmine “The Snake” Persico, the Voice said.

Rosatti also allegedly gave a no-show job to Orena’s son, also named Victor, with a gangster reportedly telling the younger Orena, “You’re the only salesman that never sells any cars and makes money.”

In recent years, Rosatti has made headlines by founding the BurgerFi fast-food franchise operation and for owning a series of superyachts.

One — a 162-foot, four-deck behemoth — is named the “Remember When,” which is also the title of a 2007 episode of The Sopranos and several cast members attended a party on board when Rosatti docked it at Battery Park City’s North Cove Marina for the 2011 Fourth of July celebration.

Rosatti now lives in Florida, where records show he owns a sprawling, six-bedroom waterfront mansion with a swimming pool and a private dock in West Palm Beach that’s on the market for $9.5 million.

His local New York political contributions are among more than $250,000 in total that Rosatti has doled out since 1985 at both the national and state levels, with most of the money given to Republicans last year, records show.

Plaza Auto Mall lawyer David Gradeau said, “Mr. Rosatti states that he is not now nor has he ever been a soldier of the Colombo crime family.”

Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte at an event on March 12, 2021.
Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte at an event on March 12, 2021.
Getty Images

“He made a political donation because he has business interests in Brooklyn, specifically Plaza Auto Mall, and he has donated to candidates of both the Republican and Democratic Parties, in and outside of Brooklyn,” added Grandeau, the former executive director of the Temporary State Commission on Lobbying.

The Gonzalez campaign said, “DA Gonzalez does not know Mr. Rosatti and has never received a personal contribution from him. However, four years ago there was a contribution from a car dealership affiliated with him.”

A spokesman for Bichotte and the Brooklyn Democratic Party said she was grieving the death of her mother and couldn’t be reached.

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‘Ndrangheta fugitive found, arrested after posting YouTube cooking videos

‘Ndrangheta fugitive found, arrested after posting YouTube cooking videos

A Mafia fugitive, who has been on the run since 2014, has been caught after being spotted in YouTube cooking videos he made with his wife, Italian police said last Monday.

Marc Feren Claude Biart, 53, had been avoiding his ordered arrest for alleged cocaine trafficking for the Cacciola clan of the ‘Ndrangheta Mafia, Agence France-Presse said.

He managed to sustain a low-key life in Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic until he put his Italian cooking skills on full display, police said, according to the news agency.

While Biart attempted to hide his face, his distinctive tattoos on his body gave him away, the agency said, without elaborating on their distinctive features.

The video was part of a cooking channel he set up with his wife, according to Calabria News. He had otherwise lived “under the radar” within the large Italian presence in Boca Chica, with locals referring to him as “Marc”.

Biart was shown being escorted to a jet that took him to Milan by Interpol, where he was taken into custody upon landing, according to the report. His arrest was a significant development for the specialist operation I-CAN (Interpol Cooperation Against ‘Ndrangheta).

The ‘Ndrangheta is considered to be one of the world’s most powerful crime families because of its control over the majority of cocaine entering Europe, AFP said.

It has extended its reach across all parts of the world, and it has long surpassed Sicily’s Cosa Nostra as Italy’s biggest Mafia organization.

source: nypost

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