Raynald Desjardins pleads guilty to conspiracy in Salvatore Montagna murder

Raynald Desjardins, an onetime lieutenant in the Rizzuto crime family, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder a rival gangster who tried to take over the Montreal Mob.

2011 killing thought to be tied to turf war for control of Montreal Mafia

Raynald Desjardins, who was arrested in December 2011 and charged with 1st-degree murder in the shooting death of Salvatore Montagna, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder.

A former lieutenant of the Rizzuto crime family has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder.

Raynald Desjardins has admitted to his role in the death of mob boss Salvatore Montagna in November 2011.

The killing is thought to be tied to a turf war for control of the Montreal Mafia.

Desjardins was initially charged with first-degree murder in connection with Montagna's death.

Seven other men were eventually charged. 

Desjardins was himself the suspected target of an assassination attempt in September 2011.

Two months later, Montagna, a former New York Mafia boss who was deported from the U.S., came to Montreal and is thought to have tried to take over the city's Mob, was gunned down in Charlemagne, northeast of Montreal.

Montagna's body was found in the nearby Assomption River.

Marc Labelle, Desjardin's lawyer, said his client worked out a plea bargain with the Crown, and it was important for Desjardins that some of the charges against him were dropped.​

The details of Desjardin's plea are covered by a publication ban. He's due to be sentenced in December. 

Conspiracy to commit murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

Ties to construction industry

​Desjardins previously spent twelve years in prison starting in 1993 on a drug charge.

Since his release in 2005 he has been increasingly involved in Quebec's construction industry.

His name came up frequently at the Charbonneau commission as an associate of top officials with the province's FTQ construction union.

Desjardins was to testify at the commission but he fought that in court and eventually commission lawyers dropped their request.

Nicknamed "Sal the Iron Worker," Montagna owned and operated a successful steel business in the U.S.

The FBI once called him the acting boss of the Bonanno crime family — prompting one of New York's tabloids to dub him the "Bambino Boss" because of his rise to power in his mid-30s.