The United States is kicking out a Canadian man reputed to head New York's Bonanno crime family.
Salvatore (Sal the Ironworker) Montagna, 38, who runs a steel business in Brooklyn, remained in the custody of U.S. immigration officials Friday.
He is expected to arrive back in Montreal — where he was born and has family and friends — within five days. He had moved to the U.S. at age 15, according to his lawyer, George Stavropoulos.
Montagna decided to come back to Canada voluntarily after U.S. immigration officials tried to deport him.
Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested Montagna on April 6 in Brooklyn for civil violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, stemming from a contempt of court conviction in 2006.
He was convicted of criminal contempt in New York and sentenced to five years probation after he refused to answer questions from a grand jury.
Stavropoulos said the matter should have ended with a fine, except that his client was in the U.S. on a preliminary immigration "green card."
"And the law states that if you plead guilty to a crime, then you are removable," he told CBC News.
His conviction on the contempt charge is what allowed authorities to force him to leave the U.S. on a rarely used immigration technicality. As a Canadian citizen, Montagna is free to come back to Canada.
Stavropoulos said his client will fight to regain his legal status in the U.S.