In Quebec 31 Mafiosi Arrested as Part of Operation Clemenza

Montreal - CBC News reports that 31 alleged Mafia members belonging to two groups based in Montreal, Laval, Gatineau and Quebec City were arrested this morning following a series of police raids. Three other people are currently being sought.

The raids were part of Operation Clemenza, as it has been called since its 2010 creation, and were led by the RCMP and around 200 police forces.

BlackBerry messages once again played a key role in the investigation, which included interceptions of PIN-to-PIN BlackBerry messages between members of the Giuseppe De Vito and Bastone brothers Mafia cells.

The De Vito clan was said to be a faction of the Ndrangheta, the Calabrian-based Mafia. No confirmation on whether the clan headed by the Bastones was Calabrian or Cosa Nostra.  These two groups working together may have been battling Vito Rizzuto and his family for control of organized crime in Montreal.

RCMP's organized crime division said an investigation between 2010 and 2012 intercepted around one million PIN-to-PIN messages, and involved what he described as a "complex analysis process."

Both Mafia cells, described as "violent and active," emerged after a 2006 police operation codenamed Colisée left the Montreal Mafia's leadership in disarray. Colisée resulted in the arrests of nearly 100 suspected mobsters, including many top leaders of the Montreal Mafia.

Missing Clemenza
Hussein Abdallah (Montreal), Patrizio Silvano (Laval) and
Giovanni Gerbasi (Gatineau) are wanted by police.
Clemenza's goal was to "eliminate" the organizations that took over in the wake of Colisée.

The dismantling of these cells disrupts the whole organization of the Italian Mafia in Montreal, according to the RCMP.
Those arrested today face 87 charges including arson, kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault, gangsterism, possession of firearms, possession of explosives and conspiracy to smuggle drugs, money and cellphones into prison.

Giuseppe (Ponytail) De Vito was one of the leaders targeted by Operation Colisée, but he managed to avoid arrest until 2010. An associate of the Rizzuto clan, De Vito was found dead in his jail cell last year.

A coroner's report found traces of cyanide in his blood.


  1. Oh wow!!! The saga continues in Canada! Ed, do you think this will put a damper in the affairs of our friendly LCN north of Michigan? I really need to learn more about Italian OC in Canada. It's very exciting it seems. Ed, what is the big difference over that borfer? Also, take an hour and a half ti watch the doc "Youngstown:Still Standing" available on YouTube. Maybe because my family is from the area, but I can't learn enough about OC in the Youngstown/Mahoning Valley area

  2. I've written a lot about Canada. I believe the group arrested were Ndrangheta members who'd been fighting against the Sicilian faction formerly led by the deceased Vito Rizzuto. There had been an alliance in Montreal holding the factions together; it seems Rizzuto's arrest led to civil war but there may have been some problems before Rizzuto served his stint in US prison (for participating in the '81 killings of three captains in the Bonanno family) because he prophesied to Canadian law enforcement that there'd be bodies in the street if he was taken out of the picture. I am very fascinated by Canada, especially by the fact that both the Ndrangheta and Cosa Nostra established themselves independently of each other there, while in the U.S. only one group sprouted into maturity absorbing Sicilians and Italians, though the Camorra certainly vied for position in the early 20th century. I believe the Black Hand represented an early effort by the Calabrians to "set up shop" here before throwing in with America's Cosa Nostra. Anyway, search for names like Rizzuto... Papalia... Luppino... to read about Canada. I'm sure we've not heard the last about Operation Clemenza either.

  3. I will definitely search those names. I obviously know of Rizzuto from Bonanno books (Joe Massino and Vinnie Gorgeous bios) as well as your writings but I surely want to know more. The next book on my list is The 6th Family. Have you read it? I'm currently reading Capeci's latest effort Mob Boss. It's pretty cool so far. I'm just always amazed at what I hear is going on in Canada.

  4. Ed, has any of your sources told you if someone has taken over the rizzuto family?

  5. Forget 6th Family read Mafia Inc. by Cedilot & Noel

  6. Of course someone has. It's really a question of who?

  7. Thanks for the tip Funzi, I will def research it. How current does the timeline go? Any other recommendations? I'm always looking for more books. Has anyone read Breakshot?

  8. If your going to read both read 6th Family first then Mafia Inc. I will have nothing to do with kenji his books or his blog, ever.


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