Alleged 'godfather' of Mafia in Montreal sentenced to 10 years

Vito Rizzuto, considered the godfather of Mafia in Montreal, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for his role in the murders of three gang leaders.

Vito Rizzuto, considered the godfather of theMafiain Montreal,was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for his role in the murders of three alleged gang leaders.

The judge in a New York City courtroom recommended the 61-year-old serve his time at the Ray Brook medium-security jail in upstate New York, near the Ontario and Quebec borders. Prison officials will have the final say where he serves.

Rizzuto, the man the RCMP call the "godfather" of Montreal,was arrested in Montrealthree years agoand extradited to the U.S. last August.

He pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in exchange for a 10-year sentence.

The charges are connected to the 1981 triple murderat a Brooklyn social club. Rizzuto has admitted in court that he was at the scene ofthe crime and was armed at the time.

"My job was to say, 'It's a holdup!' so everybody would stand still," Rizzuto tolda New York courtroom when he entered his guilty plea on May 4.

He told the court his accomplices then opened fire, killing Dominick (Big Trin) Trinchera, Philip (Philly Lucky) Giaccone and Alphonse (Sonny Red) Indelicato.

All three men were allegedly captains in the Bonanno crime family who were plotting a coup. Rizzuto is said to have strong ties to the powerful New York family, according to Canadian police.

Judge levies $250K fine

On Friday, the judge issued Rizzuto a $250,000 US fine because he said he didn't believe Rizzuto's testimony about the value of his assets. The fine has to be paid within three months.

Rizzuto did not face murder charges because the statute of limitations had run out on the crime.

His arrest came when police cracked down on the Bonanno family, and fellow Massino family, in 2004. In total, 28 alleged Mafia members were arrested, all of them from New York, except Rizzuto.

Rizzuto'sextradition to the U.S. came after a lengthy courtbattle that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.