Saturday, May 22, 2010
Paolo Renda, 70, brother-in-law of imprisoned Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto and reputed consigliere of the underworld organization, disappeared on May 20, according to stories by Paul Cherry of the Montreal Gazette and Adrian Humphries of the National Post. Renda was last seen at 3:15 p.m. His wife Maria reported him missing at 6 p.m. Authorities suspect he has been abducted and fear he may have been killed.
The Mafia of Montreal appears to be under siege by a rival underworld organization. Nick Rizzuto, son of boss Vito Rizzuto, was shot to death Dec. 28, 2009. Authorities suspect that a Calabrian gang may have been responsible. Two men were killed in a March 18 shooting that police suspected was a retaliatory move by the Sicilian Rizzuto clan. The Rizzuto family reportedly came to power in Montreal in the 1970s, after having local Calabrian underworld boss Paolo Violi killed.
Renda (right), jailed in October 2008 for possessing the proceeds of crime, was released from prison in mid-February. Fearing that he would become involved in a gang war, authorities placed restrictions on his release.
Investigating the disappearance, police found Renda's Infinity automobile near Albert-Prevost Avenue not far from his Cartierville home. The windows were open, and the keys were in the ignition.
The Renda and Rizzuto families have been close for many years. They share a common background in Cattolica Eraclea, in southern Sicily between Sciacca and Agrigento. Renda's wife is the sister of Vito Rizzuto, now imprisoned in the U.S. He served as godfather to Rizzuto's son Nick, who was killed in December. Renda is considered Rizzuto's right-hand man and is believed to have handled the finances of the Montreal Mafia. He was among the dozens arrested in Operation Colisee in 2006.
Rizzuto's father, Nicolo, was scheduled to appear in court May 21 on a five-year-old impaired driving charge. That appearance was postponed after his attorney argued that it would be too dangerous for the 86-year-old to be seen in public. Nicolo was fined in February for evading taxes on millions of dollars held in Swiss bank accounts.
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Read more about the Mafia of Montreal:
The Sixth Family: The Collapse of the New York Mafia and the Rise of Vito Rizzuto
by Adrian Humphreys and Lee Lamothe
Mark Rossetti, 50, of East Boston, Massachusetts, was arrested May 20 at his Bennington Street home on charges that he has facilitated the regional drug trade, acording to stories by Richard Weir of the Boston Herald and Travis Andersen of the Boston Globe. Prosecutors say Rossetti is a capodecina in the New England Crime Family based in Boston. The Globe reported in 2003 that authorities identified Rossetti as one of a handful of leaders in the criminal organization.
Police arrested Ciampi, Valdez and another man at the same time as Rossetti. State troopers reportedly found large amounts of cash and drugs in homes and a Valdez-driven automobile they raided May 20. State Police spokesman David Procopio told the press that the drug ring distributed heroin in Lawrence, Lynn and surrounding communities.
Essex Assistant District Attorney John T. Dawley said Rossetti used Mafia connections to broker and safeguard drug transactions. "He provided protection," Dawley said.
The suspects pleaded not guilty to all charges at arraignment in Lynn on May 21. Defense attorneys said the case amounted to little more than suspicion. They said evidence does not link their clients with drugs. "If [Rossetti] is supposed to be such a big kingpin, where is all the money? Where are all the drugs?" said Rossetti's defense counsel Randi Potash. Of the 142 grams of heroin discovered in the car driven by Valdez at the time he was arrested, defense attorneys noted that the car was not registered to Valdez and that the drugs were found in a secret compartment unknown to Valdez.
US Mafia was born in New Orleans
Joseph P. Macheca and the
Birth of the American Mafia
Written by Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon, Deep Water captures the life and times of Joseph P. Macheca. It finally sets the record straight on the man who was a warrior for the corrupt New Orleans Democratic machine, a pioneer of the Crescent City’s fruit trade, a Confederate privateer and the legendary “godfather” of the first Mafia organization to germinate in American soil.
While answering at last the questions surrounding the 1890 assassination of Police Chief David Hennessy and the subsequent Crescent City lynchings, Deep Water establishes the factual details of Macheca’s life and sets them against the vivid backdrop of Gilded Age New Orleans. Published by iUniverse.
- Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.