28 Busted for Running Mafia-Linked Tobacco Smuggling Ring

Inspector Michel Pelletier, from the Sûreté du Québec; Annie
Beausejour, with Canada Border Agency; James Spero, with
US Homeland Security; and Superintendant Denis Blanchard,
with the RCMP 
The Globe and Mail: Canadian law enforcement arrested 28 people Wednesday in a crackdown on tobacco trafficking that allegedly involved the Italian Mafia and native organized crime.

Nicola Valvano, 53, who was described as an influential member of the Montreal Mafia, was among the arrested.

The Toronto Sun reported: "It's the "largest investigation of contraband tobacco ever undertaken in North America," according to Quebec provincial police."

About 400 law-enforcement officers – including members of the Quebec provincial police, the RCMP, other police forces, customs agents and U.S. authorities – were involved in the operation.

The alleged fraud amounted to $30 million, according to officials.

The tobacco was purchased by Mafia members in North Carolina and driven to Canada, according to law enforcement.

Some of the tobacco was smuggled through Lacolle, Que., one of the busiest Canada-U.S. border crossings. Other contraband was brought in through Akwesasne, a popular corridor for smugglers due to its international geography.

The contraband was shipped to "illicit factories" in Kahnawake, Que., another Mohawk reserve on Montreal's south shore."

Police fail to nab seven of the scheme's alleged participants.


  1. Most likely these guys won't get long sentences. Most will probably plea out.

  2. Anyone know anything about Nicola Volvana? Seems to be a player in Montreal, post-Rizzuto...

  3. There are a boatload of guys up we've never even heard of.


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