Murders of Ndrangheta Hitters "Open a Lot of Questions"

Scene of the murder: Canadian police investigate Verduci 
slaying while experts ponder its larger significance. Quebec is the place where the mob makes much of its drug money.

Ontario is the place where the mob hides that money.

This is mob expert Antonio Nicaso's simple diagnosis about why Ontario has historically been less violent, territorial and generally more peaceful than it's neighbour when it comes to gangland wars.

The major difference in Quebec is the Port of Montreal, which gives anyone controlling it a way to bring cocaine into North America.

"In Ontario, it's not about territory for the mafia; it's about investment," he said. "For that reason, they have to keep this place as peaceful as possible. You don't want to raise the alarm of people in Ontario. You don't want to associate Ontario with fear or violence. This is traditionally the difference between Ontario and Quebec."

If one only considers the number of bodies turning up in each province annually, the theory holds water.

However, that may be changing.

As the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta becomes more powerful in Ontario and Quebec, it is beginning to challenge the more traditional Sicilian Cosa Nostra in Montreal, which retains control of the port and remains the dominant player.

Since the Cosa Nostra's dominance has been challenged, a war has been raging in Montreal.

The fear for some is it may spill over into Vaughan, especially since the death of Vito Rizzuto, the former suspected boss of the Quebec Cosa Nostra, in December.

The past few months the GTA, and specifically Woodbridge, have witnessed two incidents in which alleged 'Ndrangheta hit men were gunned down in the most public fashion.

First, it was Sam Calautti and James Tusek being shot while getting into a luxury BMW SUV outside a banquet hall on Creditstone Road, mere meters from a York Regional Police station.

Next, it was Carmine Verduci, shot and killed last week, outside the Regina Sports Cafe on Regina Road, in west Woodbridge.

Is it related to the turf battle in Montreal?

Mr. Nicaso, who has been studying the Mafia since he was six, is not willing to speculate on the reason behind the murder, but said there are conflicting statements in the Toronto and Montreal media.

"It's too early to understand the context," he said. "It could be an incident related to a specific issue or it could be related to the Montreal war. (Mr. Verduci) had a long criminal history well known to police in Canada and Italy. Talking to people in Montreal, they say it's not related. That's not what they appear to be saying in the Toronto press. This is the big question."

On the issue of if there will be repercussions as a result of Mr. Verduci's murder, Mr. Nicaso said that will depend on the reason for the hit.

"Definitely, it's a murder that opens a lot of questions," he said. "If he broke a deal, if he didn't repay some money, there will not be repercussions, but if it's personal, if it's an attack, it will remain an issue. If it's an attack on the 'Ndrangheta, then that would be more complicated. One thing is for sure: no one expected this guy would be killed."

One detail Mr. Nicaso is confident of is police will have a hard time investigating any mafia hit, considering such murders are usually committed by experts who are often from out of province or country.

"Sometimes they hire people from another province to avoid that someone would recognize them," he said. "Sometimes they even exchange kills, but usually they use professional killers. Historically, among the most difficult things for police to investigate are mafia killings. Only a few have been solved since the 1970s."

Mr. Verduci became known to authorities after being caught on tape as a representative of one of the seven suspected 'Ndrangheta families in Ontario, said Mr. Nicaso, an author and journalist.

During this conversation, Mr. Verduci was complaining about not being involved in selecting the 'Ndrangheta's capo crimine —the person in charge of the meeting of local 'Ndrangheta leaders — in Italy. Although Mr. Verduci, a Canadian citizen, was wanted by Italian authorities, Mr. Nicaso said, Canada's laws did not allow for him to be deported.

Mr. Nicaso further explained he expected York police to be working alongside agencies in Italy and Montreal as part of the investigation of Mr. Verduci's murder.

York Det.-Sgt. John Braybrook would not go that far, saying he would not divulge any further information about the probe.

He reiterated police are reviewing surveillance in the area and continue to look for a grey or silver Honda Civic.

"There's been a lot reported on this by so-called experts," he said. "The only thing I can say is we're reviewing security video."


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  1. Mr. Nicaso has been studying the mafia since he was SIX??? Really? That has to be a mistake.

    1. Overall, Funzi, except for the intriguing beginning, not much here. I could've given a better interview!! I may write an intro to this. They left something very obvious out, must be a hot button political issue. I'm gonna ask you a question, Funz....lets see how good you are: what'll my intro address?

    2. Maybe something to do with Alfonso Gagliano the Canadian Parliament member and also a member of the Bonanno Family Canadian Crew? A sleeper as they call them. Always a touchy subject for Canada.

  2. I agree 6 is rather young but it's what the sourced article says. I'll try to ask him! He'd be interesting to interview regarding how this relationships worked between America and Canada.

    1. At 6 your still learning the alphabet let alone studying OC. If you get a chance to ask him and he holds firm on that age you gotta wonder what else is he bullshitting about. I mean unless he is some sort of genius who graduated college at 10.


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