Canada's National Parole Board has refused the full-parole request of Gerlando Caruana, 64, according to a story by Paul Cherry of the Montreal Gazette.
Caruana, reputedly an inducted member of the Mafia in Sicily, is on a limited parole in a halfway house. Since 1998, he has been serving a nearly 32-year sentence for drug smuggling. He pleaded guilty that year to participating in a massive cocaine smuggling operation between Mexico and Canada while he was on parole from an earlier heroin smuggling conviction. As a result, the remainder of his first sentence was added to his second sentence.
Caruana claims he has disconnected himself from the Mafia society. "I've made a decision to get out," he said. "It's a decision I made when I was arrested a second time."
Given his past history, the parole board was skeptical.
Gerlando Caruana and his brother Alfonso were both arrested as part of Canada's Project Omerta in 1998. Alfonso was sentenced to 18 years after pleading guilty to drug trafficking. He has since been extradited to Italy, where he was tried and sentenced in absentia to a 22-year prison term for a similar offense.
Italian officials say the brothers are part of the Cuntrera-Caruana Mafia organization based in Siculiana, Sicily.
- Thomas Hunt
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