Gangs of Montreal, Episode 7: Taking down the Rizzutos
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The latest episode of our podcast The Dark North: Gangs of Montreal looks at how an RCMP investigation destabilized the Montreal Mafia and the rest of the criminal underworld for the next decade
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Dec 16, 2019 • December 16, 2019 • 1 minute read • Join the conversation Photo by Marcos Townsend /Montreal Gazette
The morning of Nov. 22, 2006 was cold and overcast.
Cars were pulling up to the back entrance of the Montreal headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Westmount, just west of downtown.
Inside the cars were some of the most powerful men in Montreal’s underworld.
Out came Nicolo Rizzuto Sr., the man who had seized control of the Montreal Mafia in the late 1970s. Wearing his trademark fedora hat and a long coat, his wrists were bound with plastic tie wraps instead of handcuffs.
Rizzuto had kept a low profile in Montreal, but that all ended with his arrest.
Police had collected almost 2 million wiretapped conversations of Rizzuto and the other leaders of the Mafia, making decisions about crimes like extortion, illegal gambling, drug smuggling and sports betting.
Their investigation blew open the secrecy surrounding the Montreal Mafia and laid bare its extensive criminal organization.
The latest episode of our podcast The Dark North: Gangs of Montreal looks at how that destabilized the Montreal Mafia and the rest of the criminal underworld for the next decade.
The Dark North: Gangs of Montreal is hosted by Paul Cherry, the Montreal Gazette’s crime reporter. You can subscribe to The Dark North on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher.