Skip to comments.Mob sweep (Canada's RCMP bust 90 Montreal Mafiosos running drugs into U.S.)
Posted on 11/22/2006 8:27:15 PM PST by GMMAC
90 people arrested in Project Colisée
Paul Cherry, Montreal Gazette
Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Police in Montreal say they have struck a very serious blow to organized crime in an operation that has rounded up several alleged leaders of the Montreal Mafia.
Included among the 90 people arrested or sought on warrants Wednesday morning was Nicolo (Nick) Rizzuto, 82, the father of Vito Rizzuto, 60, the reputed head of the Mafia in Montreal. Another alleged leader in the Mafia arrested was Paolo Renda, Vito Rizzutos brother-in-law. The organization is alleged to have infiltrated Montreals major airport to import cocaine.
More than 700 police officers took part in the investigation dubbed Project Colisée.
Francesco Arcadi, 53, was also arrested at a cottage early Wednesday morning. He was led into RCMP headquarters in Westmount in handcuffs and sporting a camouflage jacket. Police sources have been saying for a while that Arcadi was favoured to replace Vito Rizzuto who was extradited to the United States earlier this year to face racketeering charges as the head of the Montreal Mafia.
Nicolo Rizzuto, 82, the man police consider
the former Mafia godfather of Canada,
was among the organized crime figures
arrested in a round up of more than 90 people
Wednesday November 22/06 in Montreal.
Photograph by : THE GAZETTE/Marcos Townsend
Francesco Arcadi, the man police consider
Vito Rizzuto's replacement in the Canadian
Mafia, was among the organized crime figures
arrested in an early morning round up of more
than 90 people Wednesday November 22/06 in Montreal.
Photograph by : THE GAZETTE/Marcos Townsend
Renda, Arcadi, Nicolo Rizzuto and three others are described by the RCMP as being part of a criminal organization whose primary activity is to commit drug smuggling and exportation as well as bookmaking and extortion.
When Nicolo Rizzuto was brought to RCMP headquarters he was dressed in a fedora and smiled to the photographers and television cameras.
We think it is a very serious blow to Italian organized crime, said Corporal Luc Bessette of the RCMP.
The work of the RCMP in Quebec specializes in targeting all the members of an organization. We target the problems and not the symptoms.
Bessette said later that the operation was one of the most significant in the history of organized crime in Canada.
Also targeted in the investigation was a Canadian customs agent and several employees of airline and food services companies based at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Dorval. Bessette said the people are suspected of helping the Mafia smuggle cocaine into Canada through the airport.
The investigation also targeted another criminal organization that was smuggling marijuana into the United States through the Akwesasne Reserve.
It is known that criminal organizations that use (Akwesasne). Speaking geographically, it is very difficult to manage that area. There are many criminal organizations that use the reserve for goals like that, Bessette said.
While it appears the Mounties led the investigation Bessette described Project Colisée as a team effort. The Sûreté du Québec, Montreal police and Laval police took part carrying out search and arrest warrants Wednesday.
Partnership is essential in this type of operation. We cant do investigations like this without partners, Bessette said.
Bessette declined to speculate but the operation appears to be similar in scale to Operation Springtime 2001, a roundup of the leaders among the Hells Angels who played major roles in Quebecs biker gang war.
It is as important as Operation Springtime 2001, said Guy Ouellette, retired SQ investigator and an expert on biker gangs. They have arrested the heads of the Mafia (in Montreal), the decision-makers. It is important because it is like shutting down the head office, much like the Hells Angels head office in Montreal was shut down in 2001.
The investigation that led to Wednesdays arrests began four years ago.
Some of the people arrested are expected to be charged in court Wednesday afternoon. They face a long list of criminal charges including drug smuggling, conspiracy to import drugs, gangsterism, bookmaking and extortion. One person is expected to be charged with attempted murder.
The police also began the process of seizing assets worth more than $3 million.
Despite being described for years as being an important figure in the Montreal Mafia this is Rendas first arrest since 1968.
He and Vito Rizzuto set fire to Rendas barber shop in a strip mall in Boucherville on May 16, 1968. The pair were arrested after firefighters who arrived at the scene saw them rolling in the dirt, trying to extinguish flames that had caught on to their clothes.
Since then Renda has led a seemingly quiet life, living in a luxury house on Antoine Berthelet St. in northern Montreal. Vito and Nicolo Rizzuto both have houses on the same street.
Also arrested on Wednesday was Lorenzo Giordano, a man who was charged earlier this year with firing shots into a car parked in front of a restaurant on Peel St. The car belonged to an associate of the Hells Angels.
© Montreal Gazette 2006
Good job, RCMP, way to minimize the losers getting their dope.
"Camouflage"? Where is he? I can't see him.....
Bright, screaming orange is now considered camouflage?
Opium Harvest at Record Level in Afghanistan
This years harvest will be around 6,100 metric tons of opium a staggering 92 percent of total world supply.
good thing he wasn't sporting a 45 millimeter pistol.
That cop looks like Michael Jackson or a mime.
No fun fishin here anymore!
Do not be surprised if the intelligence source for this bust came from a gay officer who had a gay acquaintance within the gay community of Montreal, and who was "bucking" for a promotion held in check my a jealous supervisor who also wanted to feel the curly hair of a Sicilian sausage lover!
The PLUT thickens!!!!
The RCMP is working hard to recoupe its image. Any word yet on the fugitive who earlier shot two officers in Manitoba and disappeared into the northern bush?
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