Rizzuto crime family
Vito Rizzuto (second to left) and various members of the Bonnano and his family
|Territory||Greater Montreal and the province of Québec and Ontario; Venezuela and Sicily|
|Ethnicity||"Made members" are Italian, Italian-American and Italian-Canadian. Criminals of various ethnicity are employed as "associates"|
|Criminal activities||Racketeering, drug trafficking, murder, loan-sharking, gambling, robbery, contract killing, prostitution, corruption, weapons trafficking, fencing, extortion, kidnapping, tax evasion, money laundering, fraud and bookmaking|
|Allies||Bonanno, Gambino and Musitano crime families, Cuntrera-Caruana Mafia clan, West End Gang, Hells Angels|
|Rivals||Various gang in Canada include their allies|
The Rizzuto family (also known as Canadian Mob or The Sixth Family) is a crime family based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The family territory covers most of southern Quebec and Ontario. The FBI considers the family to be branch or connected to the Bonanno crime family, but Canadian law enforcement considers it to be a separate crime family. The Rizzuto family was formerly known as Cotroni crime family.
Vic Cotroni's leadership
Founded by Carmine "Lilo" Galante in 1953, on the commission of Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonanno, the organization change the leadership in the 1957, with the Galante's arrest. The organization was taken over by Galante's right-hand man, Vincenzo "Vic" Cotroni, also known as "The Egg".
During the Cotroni's leadership, the family formed a strong connection to the New York Bonanno crime family as the crime family began controlling the majority of Montreal's drug trade. It was historically controlled by mobsters of Calabrian ancestry. The territory controlled by the family once covered most of southern Quebec and Ontario, until the Sicilian faction supplanted them. The FBI considered the family a branch of the Bonanno crime family. The Cotroni family also kept ties with other Mafia families in Italy and throughout the US and Canada. In the 1970s an internal war broke out between Sicilian and Calabrian factions in the family.
1st internal war
In the 1970s an internal war broke out in the Cotroni crime family between the Sicilian and Calabrian factions. The Sicilian faction was led by Nicolo Rizzuto and the Calabrian faction was led by family boss Vic Cotroni through his right-hand man Paolo Violi. This led to a violent Mafia war in Montreal leading to the deaths of Paolo Violi (who was acting capo and underboss for Vic Cotroni) and others in the late 1970s. The war ended when the Sicilian faction took control over the Montreal underworld with the blessing of the Bonanno crime family. Until recently, the family was considered the strongest crime family in Canada. Their leader was Vito Rizzuto, the son of Nicolo Rizzuto.
Vito Rizzuto's leadership
Vito Rizzuto's style of business was a striking contrast to flamboyant American mobsters like John Gotti. He remained at the top of Canada's criminal underworld by keeping a low profile, working only with trusted people close to the family, and spreading the wealth around. He is credited with playing a major role in bringing a truce in the deadly war between the Hells Angels and the Rock Machine in Quebec. The Rizzutos worked with both Sicilian Mafia and Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta families, the Cuntrera-Caruana Mafia clan (which branched out from Sicily to Canada and South America), Colombian drug cartels, and the five Mafia families of New York, in particular the Bonannos and Gambinos. Rizzuto was the mediator who oversaw the peace with the Hells Angels, the Mafia, street gangs, Colombian cartels and the Irish mobs such as the West End Gang when the order of the day was co-operation.
After consolidation of their power in the 1990s, the Rizzutos became over-exposed and over-extended. Vito Rizzuto was arrested in January 2004 for his involvement in the 1981 gangland killings of three rival Bonanno crime family captains (Alphonse Indelicato, Philip Giaccone and Dominick Trinchera) and was sentenced to ten years in May 2007. In November 2006 the senior leadership of the criminal organization was hit by a police operation, dubbed Project Colisee. Among the 90 people arrested were Nicolo Rizzuto, father of Vito Rizzuto, Paolo Renda, Vito Rizzuto's brother-in-law, and Francesco Arcadi.
2nd internal war and current status
On December 28, 2009, Nick Rizzuto, Jr., son of Vito Rizzuto, was shot and killed near his car in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a borough in Montreal. The killing of Nick, Jr. – the face of the organization on the street – illustrated the power vacuum within the upper ranks of Montreal organized crime. Since the slaying of Vito Rizzuto's son, the organisation suffered other major setbacks. Paolo Renda, Vito's brother-in-law disappeared on May 20, 2010. A month later Agostino Cuntrera, the presumed acting boss who is believed to have taken control of the family, was killed together with his bodyguard on June 30, 2010. After three decades of relative stability, the face of the city's Mafia hierarchy is subject to a major management shuffle. On November 10, 2010, Nicolo Rizzuto was killed at his residence in the Cartierville borough of Montreal with a single bullet from a sniper's rifle punched through two layers of glass in the rear patio doors of his Montreal mansion.
Members of the old Cotroni family are among the suspects for the murders of Rizzuto crime family members. The Rizzutos have dominated organized crime activities in Montreal since its inception and now their weakened organization is being challenged for control of rackets in the area, most notability the drug trade. It is unknown if the New York City families, historically aligned with the Rizzutos, are supporting or against the new leadership. Salvatore Montagna, the acting boss of the Bonanno family until his deportation to Canada in 2009, was believed to be attempting to reorganize both families under his control. If so, he was unsuccessful and was murdered in November 2011. Vito Rizzuto was released on October 6, 2012. On November 4, 2012 Rizzuto family associate Joseph Di Maulo was executed outside his Montreal home. Di Maulo's brother-in-law Raynald Desjardins is currently awaiting trial for the murder of Salvatore Montagna. Police believe his murder is part of an ongoing power struggle between the Sicilians and their rivals.
On November 11, 2013, Moreno Gallo, a once-influential member of the crime family, was killed by a gunman inside an Italian restaurant in the Mexican city of Acapulco, Guerrero. Though he was not as well-known as other mobsters of the Rizzuto crime family, Gallo was nonetheless influential among the Montreal mafia rings. He had lived in Canada throughout the 1950s but was deported in January 2012 after the Canadian government formally accused him of murder and organized crime charges.
Vito Rizzuto was admitted to the Sacré Coeur Hospital overnight Saturday, December 21 to Sunday December 22, and then passed away at 3 a.m. on Monday, December 23, 2013.
- 1953-1957 - Carmine "Lilo" Galante
- 1957-1984 - Vincenzo "Vic" Cotroni
- 1984-1991 - Nicola "Nick" Rizzuto
- Acting 1988-1991 - Vito "Canada's Teflon Don" Rizzuto
- 1991-2013 - Vito "Canada's Teflon Don" Rizzuto
- 1970-1978 - Paolo "Paul" Violi
- 1978-1984 - Nicola "Nick" Rizzuto
- 1984-1999 - Gerlando "George from Canada" Sciascia
- 1953-1957 - Vincenzo "Vic" Cotroni
- 1957-1972 - Luigi "Louie" Greco
- 1972-1978 - Paolo "Paul" Violi
- 1978-1984 - Nicola "Nick" Rizzuto
- 1984-1991 - Vito "Canada's Teflon Don" Rizzuto
- 1991-2012 - Joseph "Joe" Di Maulo
- 1957-1976 - Pietro "Uncle Peter" Sciarra
- 1976-2010 - Paolo "Paul" Renda
- 2010-2012 - Moreno Gallo
- Humphreys & Lamothe, The Sixth Family, p.308
- The Rizzuto family by Corinne Smith (January 6, 2011) CBC News Montreal
- Organized Crime in The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Organized Crime in The Canadian Encyclopedia
- "Canada's alleged Godfather pleads guilty", Montreal Gazette, September 18, 2008
- "Mob takes a hit", Montreal Gazette, November 23, 2006
- Alleged crime boss Cotroni buried in Montreal, CTV News, August 22, 2004
- A humble beginning, National Post, November 23, 2006
- The man they call the Canadian Godfather, National Post, February 26, 2001
- Reorganized crime, The Globe and Mail, September 26, 2008
- Rizzuto pleads guilty to racketeering charge, National Post, May 4, 2007
- Mob takes a hit, The Montreal Gazette, November 23, 2006
- "Mobster's son slain in street", National Post, December 29, 2009 (accessed December 29, 2009)
- "Who was Nick Rizzuto Jr.?", The Montreal Gazette, December 28, 2009 (accessed December 29, 2009)
- Slaying sends chilling signal, The Montreal Gazette, December 29, 2009
- Slaying hits at heart of Canada's mob, National Post, December 30, 2009
- Kiss of death for Montreal's Rizzuto clan?, The Montreal Gazette, May 22, 2010
- Two slain in St. Leonard shootout, The Montreal Gazette, June 30, 2010
- Major change in Montreal Mafia: Experts, The Montreal Gazette, June 30, 2010
- (French) Nicolo Rizzuto assasiné
- (French) Nicolo Rizzuto assasiné (Radio-Canada)
- Hit 'signals war', National Post, November 9, 2010
- Full-out war for supremacy in Montreal’s underworld, Tandem, January 1, 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
- Billions at stake in Montreal Mafia struggle, Toronto Sun, November 20, 2010. Retrieved November 25, 2011
- Shot down in a ‘sloppy’ hit, another Montreal mobster dies, The Globe and Mail, November 25, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
- Reputed Montreal mob boss killed, QMI Agency, November 25, 2011
- Banerjee, Sidhartha (November 5, 2012). "Reputed Montreal crime boss Joseph Di Maulo killed in his driveway north of the city". National Post. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
- Police fear Montreal mobster’s murder may be start of bloody Mafia war, National Post, November 5, 2012
- "Moreno Gallo, Ex-Montreal Mafia, Killed In Mexico". The Huffington Post. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
- Lamothe, Lee and Adrian Humphreys (2008). The Sixth Family: The Collapse of the New York Mafia and the Rise of Vito Rizzuto, Toronto: John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd., ISBN 0-470-15445-4 (revised edition)
- Rizzuto, l'ascension et la chute d'un parrain