Bonanno Associate with Ties to Montreal Boss Rizzuto Pleads Guilty in Big Drug Case

From The Gazette: A New York-based mobster associated with both the Bonannos and Vito Rizzuto has pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to taking part in a drug trafficking conspiracy that has deep ties to Montreal.

According to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Alessandro Taloni, described by authorities as an alleged "associate of the Rizzuto organized crime family," entered the plea in a courthouse in Brooklyn, N.Y. He admitted to trafficking in more than 80 kilograms of cocaine and laundering millions of dollars in narcotics proceeds.

Although charged in New York, Taloni seems to have run Beverly Hills, Calif., for the massive Mafia-run drug ring, as is being widely reported (see Huffington Post story). In fact, police seized approximately $1 million and 49 kilograms of cocaine during searches of Taloni's car, residence in Beverly Hills, Calif., and a stash house in the same city, according to The Gazette.

Back in mid-January we first reported about this conspiracy, describing it as an alliance among the Canadian Mafia, outlaw bikers and a Mexican drug cartel supplied New York City with nearly a billion dollars in marijuana, according to authorities and court documents.

Running the group was French Canadian drug kingpin Jimmy “Cosmo” Cournoyer, who was done in following a five-year probe by the DEA and police from Laval, Quebec, where Cournoyer once lived, according to the Post.

Cournoyer is now awaiting trial in Brooklyn federal court. He was described as the man behind a “vast international drug-trafficking enterprise that has been in existence for more than a decade,’’ prosecutor Tiscione wrote in court papers.

The newspaper identified reputed Bonanno crime-family associate John “Big Man” Venizelos as "one of Cournoyer’s biggest customers in New York City..." Venizelos is currently out on bail in the case, the New York Post reported.

As part of the plea agreement, Taloni is expected to forfeit more than $2 million when sentenced and faces a prison term of at least 10 years.

Cournoyer is expected to have his trial in New York soon, according to The Gazette. As we've also reported, when he was arrested, a telephone number for Vito Rizzuto, the head of the Montreal Mafia, was found on him.

"Taloni was charged with narcotics and money laundering offences as a part of an indictment in which 10 members of a Montreal-based drug distribution organization affiliated with the Rizzuto and Bonanno crime families, the Hells Angels, and the (Mexico-based) Sinaloa Cartel have been charged with trafficking over $1 billion worth of marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy into the United States between 1998 and 2012," the attorney's office said in the statement.

The attorney's office credited several police forces for the investigation, including the Laval police.

Taloni, part of the Bonanno crime family, was alleged to have acted as Cournoyer's distributor in the U.S. and "was personally sent from Montreal to Los Angeles to receive those drug proceeds (from the sale of marijuana) and to purchase cocaine from the Mexican sources."


See Huffington Post story

Reputed Bonanno Assoc Snagged in $1B Drug Bust