Montreal Drug Bust Nets 20; Will Other Shoe Drop?

There is reason to think Vito
Rizzuto is under fire on more
than one front -- not counting
whatever is left of his war up 
in Montreal (and Sicily).
There's gotta be a connection between the story below and this story... The big question is: will Vito Rizzuto get picked up right smack-dab in the middle of all this? Someone who is a key player in the U.S. part of the drug ring who is probably facing a lot of years -- hell, decades -- had the boss's phone number on a slip of paper somewhere on his person... And if that isn't enough -- and it is, it is enough -- to make Vito lose sleep, there is always the overseas trouble brewing in the form of the reaction in Sicily to Rizzuto's supposed inclination to induct non-Italian men into his family... On some level this whole thing reminds me of the smack Salvatore Lucania had to deal with for working with members of the Jewish faith. Either Rizzuto is a true innovator ushering the Mafia into the 21st century... or he possesses a death wish.

From the Montreal-Gazette: Police say they struck a blow [against] the next generation of Montreal's Mafia with the arrest of 20 people suspected of trafficking cocaine in the city's east end.

In a series of pre-dawn raids in Montreal, Laval and Terrebonne, dozens of officers descended on 25 locations and seized a total of 29 firearms. More arrests are expected this week as Montreal police work alongside the RCMP and the Sûreté du Québec to dismantle the drug ring.

Police say the dealers worked out of Italian cafés in St-Léonard as well homes in Anjou and Montreal North. Police centred their efforts on one apartment complex in Anjou believed to be a stash house containing cocaine, marijuana and designer drugs.

Wednesday's roundup came after a two-year probe by the Montreal police into the city's underworld, dubbed Operation Argot. The city's organized-crime division devoted considerable resources to the investigation, enlisting undercover cops among other surveillance techniques.

"This is a strong message we sent; yes it took us two years to get there, but believe me we'll maintain the pressure," said Commander Ian Lafrenière of the Montreal police. "The average person arrested was around 30 years old ... these are the new members of the Mafia picking up the torch."

Lafrenière said the seizure of 29 guns is a particularly encouraging development. The weapons will be analyzed by ballistics experts who will attempt to match them to other criminal investigations.

Despite a current power struggle within the city's Mafia, Lafrenière insisted the new generation of gangsters is focused more on profit than factions.

"People would love to see this as two groups facing each other, but that's not the case," Lafrenière said. "People with an allegiance to one group one day can be the opposite way the day after. Because they're looking for money. It's not what it used to be. It's not about fighting each other, it's about making a profit."