Montrealers facing attempted murder charges after attack on Luppino crime family
Charges come amid surge in violence linked to organized crime in the region
Four people from Montreal with ties to street gangs have been charged with attempted murder after an attack on two members of the Luppino crime family in Hamilton.
It happened on April 19 of last year, months before Cece Luppino, the son of mobster Rocco Luppino, was gunned down in what police said appeared to be a targeted slaying. This comes amid a surge of violence linked to organized crime in Ontario, seemingly made possible because of a power struggle caused by the death of noted Montreal crime boss Vito Rizzuto.
Though experts have long speculated about a connection to Montreal, this is the first time this recent violence has been directly tied back to that city.
According to a news release, the victims in this incident were both inside a home on the Mountain when three men forced their way inside and stabbed one of them. The other man fought off his attackers and ran to a neighbouring house for help, police say.
The three men then took off in two separate vehicles — one of which was driven by a woman, investigators say.
The injured man was taken to hospital, where he was treated and then released.
Det.-Sgt. Peter Thom told CBC News that both victims are related to Cece Luppino, and are members of the Luppino crime family.
"They are part of the family business," Thom said.
Heading to Montreal
Court documents filed by the RCMP show the family is connected to a web of organized crime stretching from Hamilton to Buffalo, N.Y., though Hamilton police have said Cece Luppino did not have a criminal record, and was not known to police.
Police say both victims "provided limited information to investigators."
"Despite an exhaustive investigation the case was concluded pending further information in the summer of 2018," a news release reads.
That "further information" came in the form of tips from both Peel Regional Police and Toronto police, investigators say. Hamilton police then re-opened the case and identified four suspects.
Last month, Hamilton police officers travelled to Montreal, where Montreal Police and the Surete du Quebec helped with surveillance, tactical and investigative assistance. Several search warrants were executed in and around Montreal, police say.
That led to the arrests of 53-year-old Marc Monette and 27-year-old Martine Villeneuve on April 11, police say. They were taken back to Hamilton, where they have been in custody ever since.
Two other accused, 29-year-old Charles Boucher-Savard and 24-year-old Jonathan Monette, who is the son of Marc Monette, were already in custody pending charges on an unrelated matter, police say.
They were formally charged in a Hamilton courtroom Wednesday morning, police say.
A Quebec/Ontario connection
Thom said all four are known to police in Quebec as being more "street gang related" than linked to traditional organized crime. Though all of the accused are from Montreal, Thom didn't say this was a hit ordered by someone in Montreal.
He also pointed to recent incidents like the arrest of two people from Montreal in the death of Hells Angels member Michael De Abaitua-Schulde in March as evidence that there is a connection between the two regions.
"There does seem to be a preference to outsource their hits from out of province," he said.
Thom also said it appears both acts of violence on the Luppino family could be "somewhat related."
"Is it a message being sent to the Luppino crime family? That would be a fair inference to make," he said.
Luppino's death is just one of several violent incidents in recent years in which the victim had some sort of connection to organized crime.
The latest was the shooting of notorious mobster Pat Musitano, who was shot several times in front of his lawyer's office in Mississauga late last week.
Investigators believe these incidents are part of some kind of underworld power struggle involving factions in the Toronto and Hamilton area.