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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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

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Plains, Trains & Automobiles: Straight From Chicago, The Celozzis’ Story Is Coming To Silver Screen In Spilotro Mob Pic

March 31, 2021 – The Celozzi family in Chicago is both famous and infamous and those two categorizations will only grow in coming years with the upcoming film, The Legitimate Wise Guy, about Nick Celozzi, Jr.’s relationship with Chicago-born Las Vegas mob boss Tony (The Ant) Spilotro. The movie is based on a screenplay penned by Celozzi, Jr. himself and is expected to begin shooting later this year.

Emile Hirsch (Alpha Dog, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood) is signed on to play Celozzi, Jr., an aspiring actor in the 1980s fast to latch on to Spilotro in the final years of his bloody reign in the desert looking after the Chicago Outfit’s business investments in the casino industry. Spilotro will be played by veteran character actor Paul Ben-Victor (The Wire). Celozzi, Jr. met Spilotro through his father and great uncle.

Nick Celozzi, Sr. was an iconic Chicagoland car dealer, who became a fixture on television sets across the Windy City with his ever-revolving commercials where he was flashing wads of cash and telling viewers that his dealership was “Where you always save more money.” Celozzi, Sr, was a nephew of notorious Chicago mafia don Sam (Momo) Giancana, the Windy City’s high-living, headline-grabbing boss of the 1960s who was exiled to Mexico and returned to Illinois only to be assassinated in 1975.

Spilotro was mentored in the rackets by Giancana and took on his persona as he grew in power. He died in gangland fashion as well.

The FBI suspects Tony the Ant may have been contracted to come back from Las Vegas and carry out the Giancana hit, which took place in Giancana’s kitchen as Giancana cooked his visitor sausage and peppers. Spilotro’s favorite meal was sausage and peppers, according to informants.

The 1995 Martin Scorsese film Casino focused on a character based on Spilotro and played by Oscar-winner Joe Pesci. Spilotro and his younger brother Mickey (a part-time actor, part-time gangster) were beaten and strangled to death in June 1986, a gruesome double homicide depicted in Casino.

Celozzi, Sr. and his partner Maury Ettleson owned the biggest Chevrolet dealership in America in the 1980s and 1990s, located in Elmhurst, Illinois. They sold the dealership in 2000. Celozzi, Sr. is being portrayed by Harvey Keitel in the movie.

In 1995, Celozzi Sr.’s son, Joey, got caught up in a money laundering bust for funneling unreported income from drug and gambling rackets through the Elmhurst dealership. His other son, Christian, pleaded guilty to bank fraud in November 2006 tied to other car dealerships Celozzi, Sr. opened up in Gurnee and Waukegan, Illinois and was bankrupted by.

This article was originally posted here

Mafia fugitive reportedly busted after being seen in YouTube cooking videos

He was caught red-sauce handed.

A Mafia fugitive has been caught in his Caribbean hideaway — after being spotted in YouTube cooking videos he made with his wife, Italian police said Monday.

Marc Feren Claude Biart, 53, had been on the run since 2014, when Italian prosecutors ordered his arrest for alleged cocaine trafficking for the Cacciola clan of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia, Agence France-Presse said.

He managed to lead a quiet life in Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic — until he showed off his Italian cooking skills on a YouTube channel, police said, according to the news agency.

While Biart attempted to hide his face, he was betrayed by distinctive tattoos on his body, the agency said, without elaborating on their distinctive features.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mafia-fugitive-youtube-01.jpg
Marc Feren Claude Biart had been on the run since 2014.
Calabria News Youtube

The video was part of a cooking channel he set up with his wife, according to Calabria News. He had otherwise lived like a “ghost” among the large Italian community in Boca Chica, with locals just knowing him as “Marc,” the outlet said.

Biart was shown being escorted by Interpol to a jet that took him to Milan, where he was arrested as soon as he landed, according to the report. His bust was a key development for the specialist operation dubbed I-CAN, for Interpol Cooperation Against ‘Ndrangheta.

According to Agence France-Presse, Marc Feren Claude Biart has been hiding out in the Dominican Republic.
Alamy Stock Photo

The ‘Ndrangheta is considered one of the world’s most powerful crime syndicates due to its control of most of the 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.

This article was originally posted here

Nailing The Boss: Philly Crime Chief “Chicken Man” Testa Murdered In March ’81, Springsteen Wrote Song About It In April

Nailing The Boss: Philly Mafia Chief “Chicken Man” Testa Murdered In March ’81, Springsteen Wrote Song About It In April

March 25, 2021 – Philadelphia mob don Phil (The Chicken Man) Testa was assassinated 40 years ago this month, killed in a nail-bomb attack on his front porch in the early hours of March 15, 1981. Less than a month later, the gangland murder was immortalized in pop culture forever with the penning of the poignant song Atlantic City by The Boss himself, iconic New Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen.

“Well, they blew up the Chicken Man in Philly last night. Now, they blew up his house, too,” Springsteen wrote and then sang in the opening line to Atlantic City about the Philly mob wars ripping through the A.C. casino gambling industry at the time. The song was included in Springsteen’s critically-lauded, low-fi classic, the 1982 Nebraska album.

The 56-year old Chicken Man Testa was killed on orders of his own underboss Pete Casella. The palace coup launched by Casella, an old-time heroin dealer and loanshark, ultimately failed and he was banished to retirement in Florida. Casella was only spared death because he was juiced in with influencers in New York’s Five Families.

Casella’s co-conspirators weren’t as lucky; Philly mafia capo Frank (Chickie) Narducci and Casella’s driver Rocco Marinucci were both shot dead in cold blood by Testa’s revenge-happy son, Salvy, in the coming months. Marinucci’s mouth was stuffed with firecrackers because he was the person who planted and detonated the nail-bomb that blew the famously pockmarked-faced Testa to pieces. Casella and Narducci reportedly decided on a nail-bomb as their kill method to try to place the blame for the murder on a roofers union crew ran by the city’s Irish mob, a group Testa had been bumping heads with in the time leading up to his murder.

Testa’s reign as boss was short. He had taken over in March 1980 following the assassination of his predecessor Angelo Bruno by the Philly mob’s New Jersey faction in the fight for Atlantic City. Bruno was shot gunned to death as he sat in the passenger’s seat of a car smoking a cigarette outside his South Philly row house. A decade earlier, Bruno had tapped Testa as his underboss.

Testa was nicknamed The Chicken Man for his poultry business and was under federal indictment with Chickie Narducci when he was slain (in the Operation Gangplank racketeering case). His final words were, “It didn’t hurt,” to responding medical personnel. Salvy Testa was gunned down three years later having risen to skipper and unofficial Sergeant At Arms status in the Philly crime family.

The violent deaths of quiet, understated Godfathers Bruno and Testa laid the foundation for two decades of wanton bloodshed, dysfunction and instability in the ranks with multiple loud, in-your-face Philly mob bosses, almost more obsessed with headlines, fanfare and camera flash bulbs the job brought than the money and power. Despite being viewed as a highly functional, non-violent borgata in the days before the sensationalized Bruno and Testa hits, the crime family suffered infighting at its highest levels. FBI records from the 1970s reflect confidential informants telling agents that Chicken Man Testa had tried to rally support for an assassination of Bruno in the years prior to it being carried out without his involvement.

Salvy Testa was killed on a contract issued by his own dad’s successor and best friend, Nicodemo (Little Nicky) Scarfo, who felt the popular, capable and handsome Testa was a threat to his regime. Scarfo, a true mob cowboy and paranoiac, ordered the young Testa’s own crew to whack him out. Testa, 28, was Scarfo’s godson.

Police found Testa’s dead body dumped in a ditch on the side of the road in Gloucester, New Jersey on September 14, 1984. He had been shot twice in the back of the head, his body trussed and wrapped in a tarp. Little Nicky Scarfo was taken off the streets in the spring of 1987 on a racketeering and murder case and served the remainder of his life behind bars.

This article was originally posted here

The King Of The Ants: Tony Spilotro Part Cast In The New Las Vegas Mob Movie, The Legitimate Wise Guy

March 25, 2021 – Joe Pesci hit a home run in his portrayal of Las Vegas mob chief Tony (The Ant) Spilotro in the film Casino more than 25 years ago. Now longtime character actor Paul Ben-Victor is taking his shot at the role.

Ben-Victor was recently cast as Spilotro in the upcoming movie The Legitimate Wise Guy, set to be directed by George Gallo. The movie is based on the true story of scribe Nick Celozzi, who the diminutive and famously erratic Tony the Ant took a liking to when he was a young aspiring actor and brought him into his world of excess and crime on the glitzy Vegas Strip of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Celozzi was introduced to The Ant by his father, one of Spilotro’s childhood buddies.

Most people know Ben-Victor for his role as a Greek mobster in the second season of the critically-acclaimed HBO series The Wire. He appeared in the 2019 Martin Scorsese Netflix smash The Irishman, about the unsolved 1975 murder of Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa, along with Pesci and Keitel.

Born and bred on the streets of Chicago, Tony Spilotro was dispatched to Las Vegas in 1971 to watch after Windy City mob affairs on the West Coast and more specifically, The Outfit’s interests in the casino and hotel industry. He was beaten and strangled to death in 1986 while under indictment in multiple cases and having gotten his bosses in Chicago locked up for skimming the casinos he was in charge of overseeing by bringing heat with his outlandish behavior.

Celozzi’s part will be played by Emile Hirsch (Lords of Dogtown, Milk). His father’s role is being played by the esteemed Harvey Keitel. Gallo assumed directing duties from the project’s original director, Oscar-winner Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields). Gallo is best known for his work as a screenwriter (Midnight Run, Bad Boys).

In the 1995 Scorsese-helmed Casino, the Spilotro character brilliantly played by Pesci was called “Nicky Santoro.” Soap opera actor Maurice Benard is cast as Tony the Ant’s little brother, Michael, sometimes called “Mickey.” Both Spilotros was brutally slain in a Chicago area basement on the afternoon of June 14, 1986.

This article was originally posted here

Colombo father-son duo cop pleas in racketeering case

A reputed Colombo crime family capo and his son took a couple plea deals Monday in a case that included nearly a dozen other accused mobsters and associates.

Joseph Amato, 62, pleaded guilty to racketeering and stalking in Brooklyn federal court Monday morning.  He admitted to extorting businesses and tracking his girlfriend with a GPS device planted on her car.

His 28-year-old son, Joseph Amato Jr., also copped to threatening an unnamed man with violence if he didn’t repay a loan in December 2018.

Amato’s commitment to tracking his girlfriend’s movements led the feds to bust his son and 18 others on racketeering, loansharking and extortion charges in 2019.

The girlfriend allegedly found the gadget, and it ended up on an MTA bus,  where it was later found by a mechanic.  This was done “likely to thwart Amato’s stalking efforts,” court papers said.

The feds then started wiretapping the family and allegedly uncovered a range of criminal activities from their friends, including an attempt to fix an NCAA basketball game, which About the Mafia recently reported.

“I participated in at least two overt acts,” Amato Sr. said via videoconference Monday morning.

He admitted that he extorted a Staten Island business and took property from another through violent threats.

He also admitted to consistently removing and replanting the GPS device from his girlfriend’s car to charge it between Jan. 1, 2015, and Oct. 21, 2016.

“I knew it would reasonable and emotion distress to her,” he explained during the conference.

Amato Sr. is expected to be sentenced to five to seven years as part of his plea, avoiding a much worse 20-year sentence.

His son, who remains out on bond, is expected to be sentenced to 21 to 27 months in prison.

Both Amatos are scheduled for sentencing on July 20.

source: nypost

Pope urges fight against organized crime as mafia continues exploiting pandemic

Pope Francis urged people to continue the fight against organized crime groups on Sunday, warning that criminals were continuing to use the COVID-19 pandemic to further their profits.

Last December, Interpol warned that organized criminal syndicates were targeting COVID-19 vaccines for their next scheme. In March, South African police seized hundreds of fake vaccines and arrested four suspects.

Pope Francis stated at his Sunday noon address, “Mafias are present in various part of the world and, taking advantage of the pandemic, they are enriching themselves through corruption.” The statement was made the day Italy remembers victims of organized crime.

As reported previously on About The Mafia, Italian police say crime families are using the pandemic to buy favor and influence with poor families facing financial doom, offering loans and food. Police say connected loan sharks are demanding extreme interest rates as they bail out businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic.

“These structures of sin, mafia structures, are against the gospel and mistake idolatry for faith,” the pope explained.

Many members of the mafia in Italy see themselves as part of a religious group, calling upon the help of saints and using religious figurines or statues in initiation rituals when a new member is inducted.

The town of Oppido Mamertina made the news in 2014 when locals carrying a statue of the Madonna diverted the route of a procession to pause at the home of a mafia boss, where they proceeded to tilt the statue slightly as if to kneel in a gesture of respect.

“Today, let us remember all the victims and renew our commitment against mafias,” Francis said.

In recent years, the ‘Ndrangheta has overtaken Sicily’s Cosa Nostra as the most powerful Italian crime group, making most of its money from drug trafficking, racketeering and extortion, and even legitimate businesses. It has spread throughout the world and holds a strong front in many countries.

source: Reuters

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College student with Colombo ties gets one year probation for attempted sports bribery

A Colombo-connected Wagner College graduate who tried to fix an NCAA basketball game in a mob-linked scheme on Thursday received a “slap on the wrist — and a tongue-lashing from the judge.”

Benjamin Bifalco, 27, received one year probation after pleading guilty to attempted sports bribery involving a Division I sports game last year. He faced up to six months in jail.

The sports game in question was between the Wagner Seahawks and the St. John’s University Red Storm, who were heavy favorites to win the contest.  The game took place on December 16th, 2018, at the Carnesecca Arena in Queens, New York.

During the virtual hearing at a Brooklyn federal court, Judge I. Leo Glasser put Bifalco on blast for letting his ego get the better of him and for his irrelevant responses. “I haven’t been able to get a straight answer from you with respect to any question that I have asked,” the judge scowled.

Bifalco demonstrated remorse for his actions, admitting that he wanted to impress a mobbed-up friend of his before expressing gratitude to the judge.

“Your Honor, you saved my life, I can’t thank you enough… You’ll never have to see my face again, I promise you that,” Bifalco explained.

A few days before the game, Bifalco was caught on a wiretap telling his childhood pal, and Colombo associate, Joseph Amato Jr. that he had “dreamed of fixing a basketball game” since he was a freshman in college.

The feds ended up hearing Bifalco’s scheme while listening in on Amato, whose father, Joseph Amato, is a reputed captain in the Colombo crime family.

The Amato father and son pair were charged in 2019, along with 18 others, in an unrelated loansharking, racketeering and extortion case. They pleaded not guilty.

During the wiretapped call, Bifalco said he’d distributed $7,500 to three separate Seahawks starters.  In return, they would purposely lose the game and receive more money afterwards.

The college student, who had majored in finance, said he planned to bet $50,000 on the game.

“St. John’s is home, so this is why it’s gonna work… They’re gonna have the refs on their side already. Wagner’s team sucks. They honestly suck. So, if we can have three people that impact the game the most, miss free throws, bring the shot clock down to one [second]before every shot, control the pace of the game, so it’s not high scoring,” Bifalco explained on the call.

Despite these conversations, he allegedly never paid the players or wagered any money on the game.  This turned out in his favor, as he would have lost his $50,000 with a St. John’s 73-58 win.

Bifalco was employed by then-Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, but was fired the day his indictment came out. Malliotakis is now a congresswoman representing Staten Island.

“My potential future loss has been great but it still does not equal the harm my actions have caused others,” Bifalco said in court.

Bifalco’s lawyer, Vincent Martinelli, added that his client now plans to attend a law school.

source: nypost.com

This article was originally posted “here

Most-wanted ‘Ndrangheta member arrested in Barcelona

Most-wanted ‘Ndrangheta member arrested in Barcelona

A member of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta who had been on the run since 2018 and was on the list of Italy’s most dangerous fugitives was arrested in Barcelona on Friday.

Giuseppe Romeo, a key player in the ‘Ndrangheta‘s European cocaine trade, received 20 years in jail on mafia and drug trafficking charges.

Romeo, 35, from the ‘Ndrangheta fief of San Luca, was arrested by the Guardia Civil with the help of Italian prosecutors and officials.

The arrest “rewards the work and the great determination of state police investigators, coordinated by the anti-mafia directorate of Reggio Calabria,” according to Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese

She said it was a “hard blow” to ‘Ndrangheta‘s narcotics trafficking and that Italian police had shown “dedication, professionalism and great ability to cooperate with authorities in other countries”.

According to police, the man was one of the group’s most important leaders and had been wanted for years.

The Central Operational Unit (UCO) stated they “moved quickly to verify the evidence obtained and, with the help of the Judicial Police Unit of Catalonia (UPJZ), it was possible to locate to a family member closely linked to [Giuseppe Romeo], establishing an intense and discreet surveillance into them hoping that he could somehow contact the fugitive, or provide any clue as to his whereabouts.”

‘Ndrangheta is Italy’s richest and most powerful mafia, outstripping Sicily’s Cosa Nostra and the Camorra in Naples.

source(s): ansa.it , euroweeklynews.com

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Connecticut mobster says FBI art heist investigation ruined his life

A reputed mobster from Manchester, Connecticut, Robert Gentile, has been a person of extreme interest in the $500 million dollar Gardner Heist at a Boston museum.

He recently had his first ever television appearance with News 8, where he recounts how the FBI’s investigation has since ruined his life.

Twenty years after the crime, he is expected to be in possession of two out of the thirteen stolen pieces.  The FBI failed in being able to charge Gentile with the crime, even after finding a handwritten list drugs, weapons, a silencer, and $20,000 cash in his home after a search.

The list coupled with the Elene Guarente accusation have many thinking Gentile has knowledge of the heist.

New 8’s Chief Political Anchor Dennis House asked Gentile in an interview if he had any involvement, which he responded with, “Never, never, never even knew about it until the cops came to my house.”

When News 8 asked if he had ever seen the stolen paintings, he responded, “Never.”

FBI Investigators believe he is not telling the truth.

“How can you say I’m lying? They don’t know what my life was and what kind of guy I was. Prove me what I was lying about everything I say is the truth…I have no reason to lie. I’m not a liar. I hate liars because liars and drunks will get you in trouble,” he stated.

Gentile also blames the investigation for his wife’s death.

He told News 8, “She sat in the bedroom there for a long time when I was in jail and I knew she was going to die. She got sick and died worrying about me…She was home with me for six months and she said ‘I can’t take it I’m going to die’ and I found her passed out in the bed dead of a stroke.”

Gentile is now allegedly only living off social security.

Did he get away with the one of the biggest art heists in history?

source: wtnh

This article was originally posted “here