Murder Plot, Mob Alliance Prompt Quebec Bust

Vito Rizzuto's son Leonardo and Stefano Sollecito were identified as the two heads of the Montreal Cosa Nostra.

The murder plot of Vito Rizzuto's chief enemy, Raynald Desjardins, set in motion today's series of predawn raids in Quebec, with police sweeping up 48, including members of the Montreal Mafia and the Hells Angels.

Arrested were Rizzuto's son, an attorney reportedly not involved in organized crime (Leonardo Rizzuto, 46, took over after his father's death, police today claimed), and the daughter of Maurice "Mom" Boucher, a legendary former president of the Hells Angels' Montreal chapter.

Boucher himself was arrested  in his jail cell where he's serving multiple life sentences for killing two prison guards.

Both Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito, 48, were identified as the heads of the Montreal Mafia since Vito Rizzuto's death in December 2013, according to police. Sollecito is Rocco Sollecito's son. Rocco, a longtime member of the Rizzuto-led Cosa Nostra, had remained loyal to the organization while attempts were made to overtake it roughly four years ago.

Leonardo Rizzuto attending grandfather's 2010 wake.

All those arrested today face a range of charges related to a drug-trafficking alliance between the mob, outlaw bikers and street gangs, as well as the alleged conspiracy to murder Desjardins, who earlier this year plead guilty to conspiring to commit the 2011 murder of Salvatore "The Ironworker" Montagna, a former Bonanno boss from New York.

Desjardins was a key player in an insurrection within the Montreal Mafia that allied elements of the Cosa Nostra and Ndrangheta against the Rizzuto organization. The war erupted while Vito was serving time in an American prison and in 2010 claimed the lives of his father and son Nick Jr., who had entered the family business. Rizzuto, knowing he was dying of cancer, returned home and quickly reignited the war, seemingly devoting what time he had left to killing as many of his enemies as possible.

Desjardins pled guilty earlier this year to murdering
Sal The Iron Worker Montagna in 2011.
Boucher, his daughter Alexandra Mongeau and Gregory Wooley, a longtime Boucher confidant also nabbed today, were central members of the Desjardins murder plot. Boucher met his daughter at the federal prison in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines and used a coded language to send messages through her to Wooley.

"There was an aspect of vengeance in the conspiracy, but it was mainly to keep (drug territory) and if there was competition, it was to eliminate it and if there was thought to be competition, it was to eliminate it," said provincial police Lt. Benoit Dube.

Maurice "Mom" Boucher.

Authorities said the alliance of the Italian Mafia, outlaw bikers and street gangs was established as a means to control drug trafficking and money laundering in Montreal.

Dubé said the raids -- dubbed operations Magot and Mastiff -- were meant to dismantle the "union" of Hells Angels, Mafia and street gangs.

"We arrested all the persons who were making the decisions," Dubé said at a news conference today.

Mongeau — daughter of "Mom" Boucher — will appear in court tomorrow to face the murder conspiracy charge. She gave birth about three weeks ago and her lawyer is attempting to get her a conditional release.

Boucher was convicted for first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two prison guards.

Woolley, a Hells Angels member and boss of the Syndicates street gang, is charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking, plus the murder conspiracy.

Vito Rizzuto died Christmas 2013 of natural causes.

The probe was conducted in three stages, according to police. The first involved the alliance formed by the mob, the Hells Angels and the street gangs to control territory and maintain drug distribution after Rizzuto's 2013 death. Investigators next uncovered the money trail followed by the conspiracy to kill Desjardins.

About 200 RCMP officers, Quebec provincial police and Montreal police participated in the raids today. Law enforcement seized 41 firearms, $1.2 million in cash, 122 cell phones and one Harley-Davidson motorcycle.