Montreal's 3rd Mob-related Hit in One Month?

Nino De Bartolomeis could have large debts, amounting to perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"Nino Brown" -- the victim -- survived several attempts since 2013.

UPDATED: Montreal police are currently investigating what seems likely to be the latest attack on the Montreal Mafia crime family formerly run by Vito Rizzuto. The victim has been the target of several previous unsuccessful hits and one report seems to indicate the shootings may be over debts.

This past Monday the wounded man, allegedly an MC member associated with the Rizzutos, was shot inside his Riviere des Prairies home. His name is Nino De Bartolomeis, 44, (he is also known as Nino Brown). Officially, his identity remains unconfirmed.

The report seems to indicate he may have had something to do with the launching last year of Projects Magot and Mastiff, which led to the arrests of several members of a drug-trafficking triumvirurate that involved the Montreal Mafia, Hells Angels MC and street gangs. Among those arrested and held without bail are Leonardo Rizzuto, Vito Rizzuto’s son and a practicing lawyer who was identified last November by police as one of the two rulers of the Montreal Mafia. The other is Stefano Sollecito.

Officers were called at about 4:45 P.M. to his house at the corner of Paul-Emile Lamarche and Adolphe Rho, one report stated.

Inside they found Nino, who'd been shot in the upper body.He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but has reportedly improved.

No arrests have been made.

A French news story, translated via my trusty Google Translator app, added more detail:

Monday, at around 4: 45 p.m., calls were made to 911 for a man in distress in a residence. Upon arrival at the scene, the police found that the door was open and discovered the man in distress, who was conscious and bloodied. The victim was transported to the hospital. According to our information, eight to nine shots (were) fired. (It's not clear how many bullets made contact with the victim.)
The LaPresse article speculates that the attempted hit could be connected to disputes that emerged within the Montreal Mafia before Projects Magot and Mastiff, which examined links between the Rizzuto organization, the Hells Angels and street gangs, including The Syndicates. Or it could be part of a larger street war involving hits that began while Vito Rizzuto was imprisoned in a U.S. prison cell..

Then there's a possibility that it is unrelated to larger events and has to do with personal debts. The LaPresse piece seems to have a source inside law enforcement providing interesting context for this attempted hit.

According to our information, Nino De Bartolomeis could have large debts, amounting to perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars.... Several people associated with the MCs or Mafia have reason to blame him for the past years.  (Well, that sounds interesting...) 
According sources, De Bartolomeis would have been advised by the police that his life was in danger a few months ago. Last fall, according to our same sources, an individual fired a rifle inside a Northern Montreal bar (presumably the shot was aimed at Nino, who was inside the place, which he may have been managing at the time). De Bartolomeis was victim of an attempted murder last summer and another in the fall of 2013.

Is Rizzuto Mafia fighting defense or offense?

De Bartolomeis was linked to Sergio Piccirilli, a longtime friend of Salvatore Cazzetta, a leading, influential member of the Hells Angels in Quebec. Cazzetta founded the outlaw motorcycle gang Rock Machine before joining the Hells Angels. Picked up in last year's major bust that also claimed the Rizzuto clans co-bosses, Cazzetta handled the money generated by the Mafia-Hells Angels led drug trafficking ring.

One report noted that the two were involved in establishing The Devil's Ghosts MC in 2012, which is based on Montreal's north shore, where someone fired at De Bartolomeis with a rifle. Members of this burgeoning club were viewed attending the funeral of a Hells Angels member in Montreal, in September 2012. 

Piccirilli's been stuck in a sort of legal twilight zone. A recent article about him, Sergio Piccirilli says the police can’t decide if he’s a Mafioso or a Hells Angel noted his belief that "either way, Piccirilli told a Quebec Court judge on Tuesday, they’re hurting his reputation."

Earlier in March, Piccirilli, 56, was testifying at the Laval courthouse before Judge Marie Suzanne Lauzon during his sentencing procedure. 

He'd been found guilty in January of 23 charges related to 2006's Project Cleopatra, an RCMP investigation into drug trafficking that centered on Piccirilli’s girlfriend's activities at the time. The drug snare was meant to send a strong signal to Canada's native territories About 36 people faced weapons and drug charges in the wake of Project Cleopatra, which broke up a drug ring run out of Kanesatake, a Mohawk community about 15 miles outside Montreal.

Piccirilli’s is the only case still not closed. This is because, in 2008, a stay of proceedings was placed on the charges he faced and then a new trial ordered.

In the second trial, Lauzon found Piccirilli, 56, guilty of conspiracy, as well as playing a management role in a criminal organization and trafficking in methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. He was also convicted on firearms-related counts.

It was well established during his trial that Piccirilli is a childhood friend of Salvatore Cazzetta, 61, one of the most influential Hells Angels in Quebec. Other evidence presented at trial revealed that Piccirilli possessed a powerful automatic assault rifle while he was under investigation... Piccirilli possessed the weapon, in 2005, because his life was threatened by members of the Rizzuto organization..

Sergio Piccirilli is somehow linked to the shooting victim.

De Bartolomeis's 2008 Escape

In 2008, De Bartolomeis was kidnapped over a debt. He either owed the money to Salvatore Scoppa and Dany De Gregorio, one of his former associates, or they were hired to grab him.

De Bartolomeis spent a whole night tied to a chair. He burned whatever material was holding him down and stole a weapon from his former captors before running out of a door.

De Bartolomeis has little criminal history. Most notably, he was sentenced to a few months in jail for possession of a weapon in 2007. Also he was sentenced to 18 months, suspended, for a conspiracy case investigated by the RCMP in Ontario in 2001.

The attack on De Bartolomeis is the third shooting in the past month, and he is the only target to survive.

  • On March 1, Lorenzo Giordano, 52, was gunned down in a parking lot in Laval, a Canadian city located in southwestern Quebec, north of Montreal. He died in the hospital from his injuries, a Montreal Gazette source confirmed.
  • Then last week, Yannick LaRose, "believed to have links to the Hells Angels," The Journal de Montreal and La Presse reported, was shot. He survived, but two masked gunmen chased him inside a pool equipment storefront and finished him off.

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