Major Montreal organized crime figure Raynald Desjardins to be released soon

Desjardins was sentenced in 2016 for playing a leading role in the plot to kill Mafioso Salvatore Montagna in 2011.

Article content

Montreal’s organized crime scene could quickly get complicated as Raynald Desjardins, a powerful mob figure in the city for decades, will reach his statutory release date and exit a federal penitentiary soon.

Desjardins, 67, is serving a sentence he received in 2016 after he pleaded guilty to being part of the conspiracy to kill Salvatore Montagna, a Mafia leader who moved from New York to Montreal and tried to take control of the Montreal Mafia.

Originally, Desjardins and Montagna worked together in an attempt to take over from the Rizzuto organization. But evidence gathered during a Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) drug trafficking investigation revealed their relationship soured. Someone tried to kill Desjardins in Laval in 2011, and the evidence revealed Desjardins and men who worked underneath him plotted to kill Montagna in response. While he and his co-conspirators were charged in connection with Montagna’s slaying, no one was ultimately convicted of having actually carried out the homicide.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Montagna was killed on Nov. 24, 2011, in Charlemagne, just east of Montreal.

For decades, Desjardins had strong ties to both the Rizzuto organization and the Hells Angels in Quebec. In the early 1990s, he was involved in a plan to smuggle a large amount of cocaine into Canada. The plot involved major figures from both the Hells Angels and the Montreal Mafia. Desjardins ended up serving a 15-year prison term for his role in that plot.

During the 1980s, he was so close to mob boss Vito Rizzuto that police often referred to their crew as the Rizzuto-Desjardins organization.

The CFSEU investigation that uncovered the plot to kill Montagna also revealed that Desjardins controlled a large group of men.

In December 2016, Dejardins was sentenced to an overall 14-year prison term for his leading role in the plot to kill Montagna. But with time served factored in, he was left with a prison term of six years and six months.

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

He did not request a parole hearing while behind bars and he therefore automatically qualifies for a statutory release when he reaches two-thirds mark of the sentence. In such cases, the Parole Board of Canada is limited to imposing conditions on an offender’s release.

“You have explained that because you were respected in the milieu and even if you were in retirement, you were consulted by former compatriots in the context of a war between different parties that evolved within the milieu of the Mafia,” the Parole Board of Canada noted in its decision made on Wednesday to impose at least five conditions on Desjardins’s release.

The board also noted that “current available information indicates that you have been an important and influential member of traditional organized crime for decades.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

One condition requires that Desjardins not associate with any known criminals or people tied to drug trafficking for the remainder of his sentence. This was a problem for Desjardins while he served his 15-year sentence as he was returned behind bars at least once for having met with a Montreal Mafia leader while out on a statutory release back then.

The decision also notes Desjardins claimed he has little knowledge of his current financial situation. The parole board warned Desjardins that “transparency is essential” when he supplies information to a parole officer on his revenue and his expenses while he is out on statutory release.

pcherry@postmedia.com

  1. Raynald Desjardins, left, and Felice Racaniello exit the Joliette courthouse, north of Montreal on Wednesday December 21, 2011.

    Raynald Desjardins receives 14-year sentence for plot to kill Mafioso

  2. Raynald Desjardins, left, exiting the Joliette courthouse, north of Montreal, on Wednesday December 21, 2011. Desjardins is charged with the first-degree murder of Salvatore (Sal the Ironworker) Montagna, and Racaniello is charged with murder and conspiracy in the Montagna case.

    Raynald Desjardins was major headache for Correctional Service Canada in past

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

This article was originally posted here