‘Ndrangheta In Greater Toronto Area: Charts and Classification Of War Types

By Andrew Machin
The Crimine belongs to nobody... it belongs to everyone. The Crimine must be composed of everyone [who belongs] to the Locale, all the men!" --Domenico Oppedisano, cl. 1930, the last known Capo Crimine, Sept. 2009.

Whenever police investigators are faced with a suspected case of Mafia murder or attempted murder but also of arson, home invasion, and shootings in general, usually the probe starts and develops along two directions:

1) To identify the perpetrators (for example, by analyzing video surveillance from the crime scene and surrounding areas and looking for witnesses)

2) To identify the involved criminal group(s)/organization(s) and the motivation for the conflict (for example, by probing underworld sources)

As to this last point, to direct the investigations, it may be useful to propose a categorization of the wars /struggles / clashes between criminal groups and organizations. A categorization which, considering our topics of interest, will focus on the 'Ndrangheta in the Great Toronto Area (GTA). 

As we know, the GTA is composed of probably seven different Locali (crime families belonging to the ‘Ndrangheta; Locale, in the singular), with nine in the entire Ontario region dependent on at least three mother-Locali residents in Calabria and more precisely, in the macro-area, on three within which all the ‘Ndrangheta Locali are divided, called “lonian,” which is the lonian side of the Province of Reggio Calabria (see the three charts here below).

For its predisposition, three basic criteria have been identified. With regard to the organized crime groups in struggle, these criteria consist in the verification of:

1. Their eventual formal belonging to the 'Ndrangheta (the 'Ndrangheta is a closed world in its own right; better, a secret society with its own exclusive rules and relations).

2. Their ethnicity, if Italian or not. Having the same mentality and cultural affinities that facilitate the connections, the criminals of Italian origin tend to operate primarily among themselves, within a sort of restricted community that spans Ontario but also arrives at Quebec; this natural behavior, considering a certain percentage of business that statistically, for the most varied reasons, end badly, explains the high number of violent actions among them. An article by A. Huphreys (National Post, Jul. 7, 2017) makes us understand very well the strong interconnections within the Italian underworld. In it, thanks “a government intelligence report compiling police information on Mafia activity in the Toronto area, written in 2014 and obtained by the National Post”, the author presented the guestlist attending the wedding, in 2012, of Angelo Musitano, bloodline member of the Musitano crime family of Hamilton (Ont.), shot dead on May 2, 2017: there was no important Italian crime family of Ontario that was not punctually represented by at least one of its elements.

3. Their origins and their primary territories of competence. They can be located in Toronto area, where the ‘Ndrangheta is rooted (“nearby”), and Ontario, or outside, in other Canadian but also US or, to say, Mexican (“distant”) localities. In any case, generally, Canadian cities have to be considered closer, even if physically further away, than those in the US because the latter are separated by a national border that limits relationships. On the basis of these criteria, three categories are identified, each of which is divided into two sub-categories:

Cat. 1: wars / clashes/ murders of ‘Ndrangheta 
Cat. 1 sub.1: wars and murders within a same Locale, usually between two blood families fighting each other for the power within their Locale of belonging; only for convenience, in this category we can also include the internal settlings of scores, vendettas and purges in case of grave faults that, according to the rules, are punished with the death; we refer in particular: 1) to act as police informant; 2) to steal money from the Locale’s cash desk; 3) having (or to be suspected of having) an extramarital affair with the wife of another full member.
Cat. 1 sub.2: wars / clashes between two or more Locali located in GTA and Ontario.

Cat. 2: wars / clashes between “nearby” organized crime groups
Cat. 2 sub.1: wars / clashes between one or more Locali and other “nearby” crime families with Italian origin;
Cat. 2 sub.2: wars / clashes between one or more Locali and “nearby” gangs, groups, organizations, 1% Motor Clubs, not with Italian origin.

Cat. 3: wars / clashes between “distant” organized crime groups
Cat. 3 sub.1: wars / clashes between one or more Locali and other “distant” crime families with Italian origin;
Cat. 3 sub.2: wars / clashes between one or moreLocali and “distant” gangs, groups, organizations, 1% Motor Clubs, cartels, not with Italian origin.

We can consider these categories only as reference coordinates which we can also place in a Cartesian diagram (see the Figure here below). Their knowledge alone doesn't allow to identify perpetrators and instigators of any violent action between criminal groups. But the fact remains that, without it, the investigators find themselves groping in the dark.

The position on the Cartesian diagram of the criminal organization possibly at war with the ‘Ndrangheta, located in area Cat. 1, indicates the category of the conflict.

In order to assign a category, it’s necessary to have a certain number of moreor less concrete clues which, of course, require validation. This work will allow to direct and focus the investigations about the possible criminal organizations involved. In parallel, the more concrete technical activities focused on identifying the perpetrators will continue too. In a certain sense, the perfect investigation is the one that manages to unite these two investigative strands in a single direction, coming to connect perpetrators and instigators. Having defined this theoretical framework, we can then hypothesize to assign a category to each of the murders we dealt with in the three previous articles (1., 2., 3.):

1. Salvatore Calautti and James Tusek, murdered on Jul. 12, 2013, in Vaughan: Cat.3 sub.1;
2. Carmelo Verduci, murdered on Apr. 24, 2014, in Woodbridge: Cat.1 sub.2;
3. Maria Voci and Christopher DeSimone, murdered on Jun. 24, 2015, in Woodbridge: Cat.1 sub.2;
4. Sukhvir “Sukh” Deo, murdered on Jun. 7, 2016, in midtown Toronto: Cat.3 sub.2;
5. John Ignagni, murdered on Aug. 21, 2016, in downtown Toronto: Cat.3 sub.2;
6. Anastasios “Tassos” Leventis, murdered on Jan. 30, 2017, in downtownToronto: Cat.3 sub.2;
7. Mila Barberi, murdered on Mar. 14, 2017, in Vaughan: no Category applicable at the moment;
8. Cosimo Ernesto Commisso and Chantelle Almedia, murdered on Jun. 29, 2018, in Woodbridge: Cat.3 sub.2.

As we have already specified, assigning a category does not mean solving a case. Not by chance, at the moment, of those listed above, only one has been solved (case 3., murder of Maria Voci and Christopher DeSimone inside the Moka Café in Woodbridge, community largely of Italian origin in the City of Vaughan, in GTA). And, even in this regard, we have to remember that only the perpetrator was (heavily) condemned but no instigator. So that, to date, the case isn’t included in the context of a clash between different criminal organizations, unlike what a series of clues would seem to indicate. Clues so numerous to suggest even a category, as already specified above, Cat.1 Sub.2: wars / clashes between Locali of 'Ndrangheta in GTA and Ontario, the same Catetegory of the Verduci’s murder (case 2.), dating back to about a year earlier, which, as we shall see now, would have started the fight.