Several leaders of the Montreal mafia, including Leonardo Rizzuto and Raynald Desjardins, have just been warned by the police that their lives are in danger while the tension is dangerously mounting between enemy clans.
Recent indications make the police fear that a bloody resumption of hostilities is preparing after 18 months of calm within organized crime of Italian origin, learned our Bureau of investigation, from various sources.
The police intercepted in particular a bodyguard of the caïd Desjardins in possession of a handwritten list listing several vehicles, models and number plates, some of which correspond to mafiosi linked to the rival Rizzuto clan (see text opposite).
Desjardins, once close to the late godfather Vito Rizzuto who turned his back on the Sicilian Mafia faction, was himself warned by the police on two occasions, between mid-April and mid-May, that he could be the target of an attack.
According to our information, the residence of the 67-year-old Laval resident was under surveillance and was photographed by one or more suspicious individuals who were noticed by neighbors of Desjardins.
On April 1, our Bureau of Investigation reported that the authorities already had information suggesting that the return of Desjardins, released from the penitentiary two weeks later after serving two-thirds of a 14-year sentence, triggered a war to end between him and his rivals.
The Sicilian clan and that of Desjardins have both been decimated by dozens of settling of scores since 2004 and it would be “very unlikely” that they could cohabit peacefully, according to our sources.
In the police environment, it is expected rather that opponents will seek to “make a master” once and for all.
Desjardins was however brought back behind bars until further notice, on May 20, for violating the conditions of his parole.
Private security around the two alleged leaders of the Rizzuto clan, Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito, has been reinforced in recent months, according to our information.
The son of Vito Rizzuto, who is a lawyer, received the same warning from the police as Desjardins about the potential dangers that await him.
He would be very discreet, alternating his stays between his luxurious home in Laval and a second home outside of greater Montreal.
Stefano Sollecito has also been warned by investigators that his life is in danger.
His name was at the top of the list discovered in the possession of a Desjardins bodyguard, according to our sources.
His father, Rocco Sollecito, a staunch ally of the Rizzuto, was shot dead in Laval in 2016, but authorities attribute this crime to the Calabrian clan of brothers Salvatore and Andrea Scoppa, both murdered in 2019.
Pietro D’Adamo, a cocaine importer from the Rizzuto clan pinned down in Operation Colosseum, was also warned by the police when he was on his way to visit Stefano Sollecito.
Gang boss Gregory Woolley, an ally of the Rizzuto clan, has also been suggested to be on his guard.
Currently in a halfway house after being incarcerated for five years for gangsterism, he was charged in 2015 with conspiracy to have Raynald Desjardins killed before being released from this charge.
Finally, police served the same warning to Vittorio Mirarchi, a rising star of the Calabrian mafia clan who, like Desjardins, was found guilty of plotting to assassinate aspiring godfather Salvatore Montagna in 2011.
Jocelyn Malette / QMI Agency
- 67-year-old businessman
- Formerly very close to Vito Rizzuto
- Served long sentences for importing cocaine and conspiring to murder
TOMA ICZKOVITS / AGENCE QMI
- 51-year-old lawyer
- Son of the late godfather Vito Rizzuto
- Acquitted of gangsterism, possession of weapons and cocaine in 2018-2019
Photo d’archives, Martin Alari
- 53 years old, son of the late Mafioso Rocco Sollecito
- He played for $ 2.5 million at the Casino de Montréal in 2014-2015
- Acquitted of gangsterism in 2018
One spinning too many for Desjardins
Even if he is used to spinning, Raynald Desjardins did not seem to suspect that the police would closely monitor his movements during his most recent day of freedom.
On May 20, Desjardins went to downtown Montreal for a secret reason, after obtaining special permission from the federal correctional service and its parole officers.
Sources confirmed to our Bureau of Investigation that this information came to the ears of the police in Laval, the city where the kingpin lives, and that a spinning operation was then set in motion.
Laval police surveillance teams discreetly followed Desjardins, who was accompanied by his wife, in her vehicle.
The police in unmarked cars then noticed the presence of a second vehicle escorting the couple nearby, all along the route.
After verification, this vehicle was driven by Jean-Charles Denommé, an individual who was also on parole and had no right to be in the presence of individuals with a criminal record.
The police then had a reason to intercept him.
It was while apprehending Denommé – who had served a sentence following an anti-drug operation carried out in 2011 against traffickers from the South Shore linked to the Hells Angels – that the police found a sheet of paper in his wallet. on which was written a list of vehicles (makes, models, colors, registration number) corresponding to those driven by enemies of Raynald Desjardins.
Back in the shadows
This is also what explains the return of the kingpin behind bars, he who had to refrain from rubbing shoulders with anyone with a criminal history.
The 67-year-old businessman, who is also involved in the construction industry, recently told the National Parole Board of Canada that he had withdrawn from the criminal world.
Desjardins said that he considered himself to be “semi-retired” and intended to “remain active” in a job the nature of which has not been disclosed.