4 charged with murder of Mafia boss

An associate of Montreal's Rizzuto clan and three others have been charged with first-degree murder in the November death of Salvatore Montagna.
Raynald Desjardins was arrested Tuesday along with five other men. (Radio-Canada)

Raynald Desjardins and three others arrested in connection with the death of Mafia boss Salvatore Montagna have been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy.

Three of the accused made an appearance in a Joliette courtroom Wednesday, one day after the arrest of six men allegedly connected to Montagna’s death.

Desjardins and his co-defendants, Vittorio Mirarchi and Felice Racaniello, are accused of having hatched the plot to murder Salvatore Montagna, who was killed in November on a property in Charlemagne, east of Montreal.

Jack Simpson, the owner of the Charlemange property, was also charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He remains in custody in Ontario after he was picked up on parole violations.

Two other people arrested in the police sweep Tuesday, Calogero Milioto and Pietro Magistrale, were charged with 29 offences related to possession and storage of firearms.

All of the accused have been detained.

Montagna shot

Montagna’s body was pulled from the Assomption River on Nov. 24. He had been shot several times.

U.S. authorities have described him as the once head of New York's powerful Bonanno crime family.

Desjardins, 59, is a close associate of Montreal's reputed Mafia don, Vito Rizzuto.

He was arrested in 1993 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for importing 700 kg of cocaine.

He was the apparent target of an assassination attempt in Laval in September.

Desjardins escaped that incident with minor injuries.