Timeline of Events
Nicolo Rizzuto Sr., also known as Nick Rizzuto Sr., and his family, including 8-year-old son Vito, immigrate to Canada from Cattolica Eraclea, Sicily, Italy.
Nicolo Rizzuto Sr. becomes an up and coming crime boss in Montreal. The New York based Bonanno crime family considers the Montreal port an important gateway to unload their heroin shipments from Europe. Nick Rizzuto Sr. joins the Bonnano organization. He is an associate of the Cotroni family. Vito follows in his father's footsteps.
By the '70s, the Rizzutos and other Sicilians are at odds with the leadership of the Bonanno's Montreal organization, then headed by Paolo Violi.
January 22, 1978
Paolo Violi, the powerful boss of the Calabrian faction, is shot in the head with a shotgun, as he sits down for a meal at a Montreal restaurant. His murder ushers in the Rizzuto era.
May 5, 1981
Vito's true mafia baptism occurs in 1981. Joey Massino, the boss of the Bonnano crime family in New York, believes that three of his captains are not loyal. A request goes out to Montreal for hit men, and Vito sees it as an opportunity. On the night of May 5, 1981, the three mob captains show up at a hangout in Brooklyn, where gunmen immediately jump out of a closet and open fire. The first person charging from the closet is Vito Rizzuto.
Vito Rizzuto's star is rising. He controls loan-sharking, gambling, drug smuggling, and money laundering in Montreal. He forms alliances with other Italian families, along with the Hell's Angels, Montreal's West End Gang and South American cartels.
By the 1990s, Vito Rizzuto's organization is so powerful it is stronger than most of New York's five Cosa Nostra families. The FBI investigates the Bonanno crime family and manages to infiltrate the mob. An agent wears a wire for six years. The FBI's efforts to break the Bonanno family pays off when Massino's right-hand man, Salvatore Vitale, agrees to co-operate. Vitale fingers Vito Rizzuto as one of the shooters in the 1981 killing of the three Bonanno captains. Facing the death penalty, Joey Massino becomes a state witness and testifies against Vito Rizzuto.
The FBI agent's story of infiltrating the mafia is made into a Hollywood movie called Donnie Brasco, starring Johnny Depp.
Salvatore Montagna starts his climb to the top of the Bonanno crime family in New York. Born in Montreal but raised in Sicily and the Bronx, Montagna is a big earner for the family. He specializes in extorting large sums of protection money. He also runs a legitimate business, Matrix Steel, which gives him his nickname Sal "the Ironworker" Montagna. He is also known as "Sal the Zip" because of his Sicilian roots.
Montagna is arrested for illegal gambling and loan sharking. He refuses to testify in front of a grand jury and is charged with criminal contempt.
A Brooklyn Federal Grand jury indicts Vito. He faces racketeering conspiracy charges including loan sharking and murder of the three captains Alphonse (Sonny Red) Indelicato, Philip (Lucky) Giaccone and Dominick (Trin) Trinchera.
January 20, 2004
Vito is arrested at his home in Montreal.
November 3, 2005
A war nearly erupts between the different crime families when four masked men kidnap Nicola Varacelli, 57, from his home on Halloween night. It happened on Sauriol Street in the Ahuntsic district of Montreal at about 10:00 p.m.
August 17, 2006
After a two-year battle, Vito Rizzuto is extradited to the United States and appears before a United States Magistrate judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern Disctrict. He faces a twenty year sentence.
The police bug and videotape the inside of the Consenza Social Club. The Italian café on Jarry Street in Montreal is considered the Rizzuto headquarters.
According to Lee Lamothe, author of The Sixth Family: The Collapse of the New York Mafia and the Rise of Vito Rizzuto, the surveillance reveals a slice of mafia life. "Everything you needed to know about that family was on those tapes," says Lamothe. "How much money came in, where the money came from, who the money went to, how the money got out, who's gonna get a slap in the head, who's gonna get a slap on the back, you know, shot or just beaten."
Francesco Del Balso, an underboss for the Rizzuto crime family and money launderer, is caught on tape talking about whether to buy a yellow Ferrari or a Porsche.
Project Colisee documents show Nicolo Rizzuto is a man of few words. Runners deliver bags of money. All Rizzuto ever says is; "how much is it?" Video shows them counting the money and dividing it among the bosses. Rizzuto stuffs his cash into his socks and always takes a cut for his son Vito.
Wiretaps from Project Colisee also reveal that after Vito Rizzuto's incarceration the Rizzuto organization is run by a committee including Nicolo Rizzuto Sr., Francesco Arcadi, brother-in-law Paolo Renda, and longtime Rizzuto associate Rocco Sollecito.
November 22, 2006
Police arrest 91 Mafiosi, including Nicolo Rizzuto Sr., in a large sweep called Project Colisee. The raids are carried out by the Mounties, Quebec provincial police, several local police forces, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Canada revenue Agency after a four-year investigation. This puts behind bars the senior members of the organization.
Montagna becomes head of the Bonanno crime family. Only 36, when he becomes the acting crime boss he is known as Bambino Boss.
May 4, 2007
Vito Rizzuto admits to being present at the time of the murders of the three captains. He is sentenced to ten years in prison and is sent to a medium security facility in Colorado. He will get out in 2012.
September 18, 2008
Nicolo Rizzuto Sr. pleads guilty to possession of the proceeds of crime in association with a criminal organization along with Francesco Arcadi, Paolo Renda , Rocco Sollecito, Francesco Del Balso and Lorenzo Giordano.
October 16, 2008
Nicolo Rizzuto Sr. is released from jail after serving two years of a four-year sentence.
Montagna is detained by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. After U.S. authorities realize he isn't an American citizen and has a criminal record for contempt of court in the 2003 charges they deport him back to Canada. Montagna settles in Montreal and tries to flex his muscle. He tries to extort large sums of money from construction companies and Montreal businessmen.
August 21, 2009
Convicted drug dealer and close associate of the family Federic del Peschio is shot to death behind a north end restaurant. This will be the beginning of a reign of terror against the Rizzuto family.
December 28, 2009
Nick Jr. is gunned in Notre Dame de Grace. He is shot in broad daylight beside his Mercedes sedan and collapses. He is hit in the chest four to six times. His death is an opportunity for the family's enemies to strike.
January 2, 2010
Nick Rizzuto Jr.'s funeral is attended by hundreds at Notre Dame de la Defense church in Little Italy, in Montreal.
January 5, 2010
St. Michel café is firebombed, the latest in a string of attacks on local cafes and pizzerias. Investigators suggest a link between the attacks and the killing of Nick Rizzuto Jr.
February 8, 2010
Nicolo Rizzuto is charged with tax evasion dating back to 1994 and 1995.
March 18, 2010
Street gang leader Ducarme Joseph survives a daytime hit at the Flawnego boutique in Old Montreal in which two men are killed. Joseph is a possible suspect in the killing of Nick Rizzuto Jr.
May 22, 2010
Paolo Renda, a top Rizzuto lieutenant, vanishes. Experts say it is a power play against a leaderless Rizzuto clan. Renda is right-hand man and consigliore of Nicolo Rizzuto Sr. He is married to Rizzuto's daughter Maria and is known as the money man in the organization. His car is found near his home with the doors unlocked, windows rolled down and the keys still in the ignition. He is never seen again.
June 29, 2010
Agostino Cuntrera, 66 is shot dead along with his body guard Liborio Sciascia, 40. In 1978, Cuntrera helped kill the head of the Montreal mafia Paolo Violi . After Vito Rizzuto's arrest, Cuntrera was seen as the next leader. Cuntrera controlled a group of drug traffickers out of a café in St. Leonard.
September 29, 2010
Ennio Bruni, 36, an associate of the Rizzuto family, is killed outside a cafe in Laval. He survived a previous hit on November 2009. He was hit three times in the shoulder and once in the back. He manages to drive away. He refuses to cooperate with police. Project Colisee identifies him as a money runner in Laval gaming houses.
Prior to Nicolo Rizzuto's death, Montagna tries to convince the mafia Don to step down and tells him his reign is over. A few months later Rizzuto would be dead. Montagna's return coincides with a series of assassinations of several senior men in the Rizzuto crime family.
Sources tell the fifth estate, Montagna tries to fill the power vacuum and solidify power with the help of an executive committee that includes Joe DiMaulo, Raynald Desjardins, Vittorio Mirarchi and Domenico Arcuri.
October 8, 2010
Antonio (The Florist) Mucci, considered a key contender to succeed Vito Rizzuto, is granted bail on weapons charges. He served time in the 1990s for the attempted murder of Montreal reporter Jean-Pierre Charbonneau.
October 26, 2010
Two former La Presse reporters Andre Noel and Andre Cedilot publish Mafia Inc. It causes an uproar in Quebec. The book alleges 600 businesses pay protection money to the mafia. The book also states that the construction industry in Montreal pays 5 per cent of all contracts to the Rizzuto organization.
October 27, 2010
Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois her calls for an independent public inquiry into the Quebec construction industry citing allegations that the mafia hands out construction contracts in Montreal.
October 29, 2010
Salvatore Vitale, 63, former Bonanno family crime under-boss, and a key witness in extradition hearings of Vito Rizzuto on racketeering charges, is sentenced for time served in 11 murders. He is expected to enter witness protection program.
November 7, 2010
Two men and a woman are arrested, the first break in a rash of firebombing at pizzerias and cafes in the city's north and east ends.
November 10, 2010
Nicolo Rizzuto Sr., 86, considered the last Godfather, is shot and killed. He is shot through the patio windows at the back of his Cartierville home in Montreal. He is hit in the neck at 5:45 p.m. by a sniper's bullet. He was sitting down to dinner with his daughter and wife. The sniper hid behind some bushes behind the family's mansion.
November 16, 2010
Eight hundred people fill Little Italy's Madonna della Difesa Church in Montreal for Nicolo Rizzuto Sr.'s funeral. He is laid to rest in a pale gold casket. This signals the end of the Rizzuto clan.
September 16, 2011
Raynald Desjardins is ambushed in an attempted hit near his home in Laval, Quebec. According to sources, this marks the end of the executive committee made up of Desjardins, Arcuri, Montagna, and Mirarchi. Sources say it was a power struggle over who would run the committee that pitted Desjardins against Montagna.
November 24, 2011
Montagna's body is found on a small island in the Assomption River, in Laval, Quebec . He is shot multiple times. In a desperate attempt to escape his assassins he jumps into the Assomption River and tries to escape by swimming.
December 21, 2011
Six men are arrested in the murder of Montagna including Desjardins and Mirarchi. Desjardins and Mirarchi are charged with first- degree murder. Police crack the case by gaining access to encrypted BlackBerry messages.
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