Montreal Mafia Fractured and Still Fighting

Around 13 firebombings in Greater Montreal in the past year are believed to be Mafia-related, which is more than double the number said to have occurred in 2015, according to Montreal police.

The most recent arson is believed to have happened this past Monday morning targeting a strip mall in Laval's Vimont neighborhood. Police have said that the fire is "suspicious," according to published reports.

CBC News recently noted that Montreal's Mafia "has become a shadow of its former self as rival clans battle each other to see which Mob boss will become the city's next godfather."

An arson attack is alleged to be related to Mafia business.

Caterina Miceli, who is married to Carmelo Cannistraro, saw one of her salons firebombed last week, as well as in the more recent strip mall bombing, during which four businesses were destroyed, including Streakz Coiffure, a hair salon owned by Miceli.

Carmelo Cannistraro was arrested in 2006 as part of an RCMP-led Mafia probe. Quebec's Charbonneau inquiry lists Cannistraro as an associate of Frank Arcadi, one of the Rizzuto-affiliated bosses of the clan.

The firebombings are alleged to be linked to a series of gangland hits that took place in Montreal.

Most of those targeted were linked to deceased Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto. who died of natural causes in 2013 -- around a year and three months following his release from a Colorado prison. 

Among the Rizzuto loyalists killed:

Last October, Vincenzo Spagnolo was shot to death at his home, also in Laval's Vimont neighborhood. Spagnolo, 65, served as Rizzuto's right-hand man, according to law enforcement.

Last May Rocco Sollecito was slain as he drove his BMW SUV through Laval. He was an alleged adviser to Leonardo Rizzuto, Vito's son who allegedly took over after his father's death. 

Leonardo is currently being held without bail as he awaits a trial for drug-trafficking and other charges.

Leonardo's brother Nick Jr. (who had been Vito's heir apparent) and grandfather, Nicolo, were both slain as part of the war that begun while Vito was in an American prison. Nick Jr. and Nicolo were killed in 2009 and 2010. respectively.

Is Ndrangheta Involved Anymore?

CBC News also noted that "Pierre de Champlain, a former organized-crime analyst for the RCMP, increasingly believes the violence is coming from within the Montreal Mafia's own ranks."

The Rizzutos are Sicilian and part of the Cosa Nostra, which sprang up in Canada alongside the Calabrian Mafia, the Ndrangheta, unlike how the Mafia in America evolved.

The Rizzuto's took control from the Calabrian Cotronis in the late 1970s.

The Rizzuto's were poised to consolidate their hold over both Montreal and Toronto when Vito was arrested following former Bonanno crime family boss Joseph Massino's decision to flip and incriminate Rizzuto in a storied 1981 triple execution of the heads of a rival faction within the Bonannos.

Vito's death created a vacuum, as CBC noted, "and the ongoing violence is a sign no one has been able to establish himself as a strong leader in his place, someone capable of earning the respect of the various factions within the Mob."

Said de Champlain, "We may suspect at the moment that the so-called Calabrian faction has an advantage because the Sicilian factions have been severely hit with casualties over the last years."

"So you might think that the Calabrian factions might be behind these fires, but that doesn't mean the Sicilians are not responding to this."

As the Mafia allegedly continues lobbing firebombs, the Hells Angels seems to be emerging as a force in Quebec's vast underworld.

Vito, then Leonardo Rizzuto historically worked with the MC in the drug trafficking business, as well as area street gangs.

As de Champlain said. "The longer their war goes on, the more the Mafia is weakened."

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