Violi's Revenge? Rizzuto Allies Whacked...

An alleged Montreal Mafia member was shot to death last night.

Vincenzo Spagnolo, 65, a Vito Rizzuto loyalist who served as a consigliere of sorts, was gunned down at his Laval home. The shooting appears to be linked to a "settling of accounts" within the Mafia, Sgt. Audrey-Anne Bilodeau told one newspaper.
Vincenzo Spagnolo, 65, a former Rizzuto advisor, was gunned down at his Laval home last night.
Montreal mobster Vincenzo Spagnolo was shot to death.

Laval Police were called to the house, on Antoine-Forestier Street after reports of gunfire had reached law enforcement.

Spagnolo was very close to Vito Rizzuto -- and was "one of his advisors,” according to retired Quebec police officer John Galianos.

"In fact, he was rumored to be one of the rare ones who could visit him in jail... (Spagnolo) had his (Rizzuto's) confidence."

"They’re trying to eliminate everyone who has ties to Vito Rizzuto,” Galianos said. "It could be some of the younger guys or from the opposing group in Toronto who is trying to take over the Paolo Violi group."

Violi's "sons are in Ontario and taking care of things there. There is some sort of revenge going on.”

Giordano was shot to death earlier this year as well.

Paolo Violi was not good at building a coalition with the Sicilian wing of the Bonanno crime family's Montreal outpost (Violi and fellow Calabrians were in charge, though the Sicilian Nicolo Rizzuto, Vito's father, had won greater respect from important mobsters in New York, who called the shots back then.)

Violi was shot to death while dining in a restaurant in Montreal. 

His death marked the Rizzuto organization's rise in Montreal-based organized crime.

For the next 30 years, the Rizzuto clan ran Quebec. 

However, there's no escaping what Galianos called "the... long arm and a long memory" of the Mafia.

Last night's shooting occurred around 5:30 p.m. in the Vimont district of Laval, Quebec, according to the Sûreté du Québec, which is investigating.

André Cédilot, journalist and author of Mafia Inc.: The Long, Bloody Reign of Canada's Sicilian Clan, in an interview, told CTV Montreal that Spagnolo's "role in the Rizzuto clan was like a mailbox. If somebody had a message to Vito Rizzuto, they pass through Vincenzo Spagnolo and if Vito had a message to somebody else, he passed through Vincenzo Spagnolo."

Spagnolo was always loyal to the Sicilian wing of Montreal organized crime, which historically was composed of an alliance between the Sicilians and members of the Calabrian Ndrangheta. Joseph Bonanno originally put Calabrian Vic Cotroni in charge of what was then the Canadian outpost of the Bonanno crime family in New York. Bonanno deliberately gave Cotroni the edge over the Sicilian wing of the entity, which created an uneasy but uninterrupted peace for decades.

Spagnolo, Cedilot added, remained active in the organization after Rizzuto’s December 2013 death.

"This guy, he had knowledge, he knew a lot of things about the organization inside the Rizzuto clan and then he was playing a bigger role since a couple of years (ago)," Cédilot said.

Cédilot believes this latest murder, which follows two high-profile hits earlier this year, may mean that the Calabrians, which are based in neighboring Ontario, as well as the Hells Angels are all underworld groups that would be vying for power in Montreal.

Laval, the ritzy neighborhood where former Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto lived in a well-appointed estate, has been the setting for many shootings, acts of violence and law enforcement raids in recent years, following the allegedly ongoing attacks on the Rizzuto organization, which was severely weakened due to a major drug trafficking probe -- the coupling of two ongoing projects, Magot and Mastiff -- that led to the arrests of numerous members of the Montreal Mafia as well as their Hells Angels allies.

Co-boss Leonardo Rizzuto is still in jail, having been denied bail. The trial has slowly begun to proceed into the courtroom, nearly one year following the arrests.

Lorenzo Giordano, 52, was gunned down in a Laval parking lot and died in the hospital, as was reported on March 3 of this year.

The Sûreté du Québec said he'd been shot "at least once" in Carrefour Multisports's parking lot early one Tuesday morning. Due to the decedant's alleged ties to organized crime, the Sûreté du Québec took over the case from the Laval police department -- which likely is the case with the recent shooting.

Giordano was a key member of the Montreal Mafia's younger generation of leaders, which served as Vito Rizzuto's key shooters, when he began retaliatory strikes after his release from prison. While Rizzuto was behind bars, his father and first-born son were slain by Hamilton-based Ndrangheta clans believed to have been in league with former Rizzuto loyalists, including Raynald Desjardins, who is in prison for the Salvatore "Sal the Iron Worker" Montagna murder.

Giordano was one of six men who acted as leaders in the Montreal Mafia while it was the subject of Project Colisée, a lengthy RCMP-led investigation that left the Mafia’s ranks badly depleted," the Gazette noted.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2009 — one of the harshest sentences of the six men. 

Giordano still had 10 years to serve but was released under conditions to a halfway house last December.

In May, Rizzuto loyalist Rocco Sollecito was killed in a daytime shooting near Laval police headquarters.

Sollecito was alone in his SUV, when he was attacked and was declared dead at the hospital.

Vito Rizzuto himself placed Rocco and five others on a ruling panel to oversee the Montreal Mafia while Rizzuto was away, serving time in an American prison after former Bonanno crime family boss Joseph Massino had flipped and testified, implicating Rizzuto in a 1981 triple-slaying.

Members of the panel, however, were quickly swept off the streets in November 2006. The six men were in fact the "main players arrested" as part of Project Colisée, a Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit investigation that targeted the Rizzuto organization's heart.

Who's Behind Recent Shootings?

Giordano and Sollecito were key members of Rizzuto's inner circle; members of that group, as well as the Cosa Nostra's current management are believed to have been targeted by another crime ring. According to earlier law enforcement speculation, the current Rizzuto enemies are not the same group that was working with Desjardins and Montagna, before the former murdered the latter after the latter failed at killing the former.

That initial group allied with Rizzuto's former right-hand man were identified as Ndrangheta clans based in Siderno.