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Friday, 19 September 2008

Francesco Del Balso and five other men who pleaded guilty to a series of criminal charges, are alleged by the RCMP to be top kingpins Montreal Mafia

Francesco Del Balso and five other men who pleaded guilty Thursday to a series of criminal charges, are alleged by the RCMP to be top kingpins in the organization of Montreal Mafia Godfather Vito Rizzuto.Mr. Rizzuto was arrested in January of 2004 and extradited to the United States where he is serving a 10-year sentence for racketeering.Police wiretaps filed in court reveal that, in his absence, his underlings were increasingly under threat from other criminal groups.Mr. Del Balso and another gang captain, Lorenzo Giordano, come across as short-tempered men who scuffle and get into gunfights on the slightest provocation from bikers or street gangs.And despite their fierce reputation, the Montreal Mafia captains met their match in a dispute with an little-known group from small-town Granby, Que.
Police wiretaps document a money feud where the D'Amico family of Granby, in alliance with francophone bikers, rattled the Montreal kingpins over a $900,000 debt owed to the D'Amicos.Seething with rage, the interim boss of the Rizzuto organization, Francesco Arcadi, is heard on wiretap recalling how he went to Granby to meet one of D'Amicos, lecturing him and calling him a “damn wanker.”
The other man defiantly replied: “Don't worry, new Montreal godfather, we'll collect with me, with a gang of wankers.”In a brazen provocation, members of the D'Amicos strolled through the Consenza café that served as headquarters for the Rizzutos, then drove out in a convoy.The two sides tried to set up conciliatory meetings. One wiretap recorded the mobsters musing about buying $400 plane tickets so they could meet in a departure lounge. They reasoned it would be a safe spot because everyone had to pass through airport security checks.It is unclear from the court evidence how the feud was settled.But violence continued to erupt.On Aug. 22, 2006, a scuffle outside a downtown restaurant between Mr. Del Balso and Hells Angels supporter Charles Huneault ended with the Mafia men opening fire on Mr. Huneault's Porsche.
When an underling urged him to cool off, Mr. Del Balso said: “So why does this guy (Mr. Huneault) have the honours of grabbing my throat?”A week later, the gang was flustered further when one member, Domenico Macri, was shot dead by two motorcyclists as he was motoring towards Mr. Arcadi's home.Thereafter, the Montreal kingpins constantly had bodyguards and kept a stash of guns – police found two M-16-style rifles, a sawed-off shotgun, a submachine gun and a pistol and bulletproof vests.It was during that time that police recorded Mr. Del Balso ordering two armoured cars.A month later, the gang members were hit instead by another threat they hadn't foreseen. The RCMP issued arrests warrants for them and nearly 90 other gang members.

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