Joe Bruno on the Mob — Alleged Mob Boss Found Dead in Canadian River


It seems like Canada is not such a safe place for reputed Mafiosos anymore.

The body of Salvatore Montagna, the alleged former boss of New York’s Bonanno Crime Family, was found dead in a river north of Montreal, Canada. Police in Canada are speculating that Montagna, who was called the “Bambino Boss” due to his rise to power in his mid-30s, was killed because he was forcing his way the leadership of the Mafia in Montreal, which had been decimated due to the recent killings of several of Montagna’s close Montreal associates, including the father and son of Vito Rizzuto, the reputed head of the Montreal Mafia who is currently imprisoned in the United States.

Montagna was born in Montreal, but was raised in Sicily, the home of the Mafia. When he was 15, Montagna moved to the United States, but he never received his American citizenship. In 2009, Montagna was deported to Canada because he was convicted for refusing to testify before a grand jury on illegal gambling. Since Montagna had no criminal record in Canada, he was re-admitted there without any problems. Just months after Montagna arrived back in Canada, the killings of members of the Rizzuto clan commenced.

According to the FBI, Montagna was known as “Sal the Ironworker” when he was with the Bonannos in New York. He owned a steel company in New York, which the FBI claims Montagna used to engage in illegal construction practices, like inflating invoices. The FBI claims that because of the defection of former Bonanno boss Joe Massino to Team America, and the lifetime prison sentence meted out to Massino’s successor Vincent “Vinnie Gorgeous” Basciano, Montagna had been inserted as the boss of the Bonannos, before he was deported to Canada. Mantagna’s lawyer denies these allegations.

The real question is who will rush to fill the void in the Montreal crime family left by the death of Montagna. I’m sure, with informers infiltrating Mafia crime families at an alarming rate, the Montreal police will soon find out.

The links for the two articles below can be seen at:—.html

Ex-NY Mafia boss found dead in river near Montreal

November 25, 2011

MONTREAL (AP) – The body of an alleged Mafia boss, who U.S. authorities said once led New York’s notorious Bonanno crime family, was fished out from a river north of Montreal on Thursday.

Reports identified the body as Salvatore Montagna, although police wouldn’t immediately confirm or deny the identity.

The FBI once called him the acting boss of the Bonanno crime family – prompting one of New York’s tabloids to call him the “Bambino Boss” because of his rise to power in his mid-30s. Nicknamed “Sal The Iron Worker,” he owned and operated a successful steel business in the U.S.

Montagna’s death is the latest in a series of Mafia-related killings and disappearances over the last two years. He was considered a contender to take over the decimated Rizzuto family.

A provincial police spokesman said Thursday that a private citizen called after seeing a body along the shores of the L’Assomption River. The same person also reported that he heard gunshots, but Sgt. Benoit Richard said he couldn’t confirm how the victim died.

“When (police) arrived, they saw a man lying near the river, they took him out of the water and started doing CPR with the help of the emergency personnel,” Richard said.

Richard said police will await the results of an autopsy, scheduled for Friday, to determine the cause of death.

Montagna was born in Montreal but raised in Sicily and, although he moved to the United States at 15, he never obtained U.S. citizenship.

The married father of three was deported to Canada from the United States in 2009 because of a conviction for refusing to testify before a grand jury on illegal gambling.

He pleaded guilty to the minor charge, but it made him ineligible to stay in the U.S. Montagna had no criminal record in Canada and re-entered without trouble.

His arrival in Montreal occurred just months before members of the Rizzuto family began being killed.

The FBI had called Montagna the acting boss of the Bonanno crime family, an allegation his lawyer denied.

The Bonanno crime family is one of the five largest Mafia families in New York – one of the notorious criminal gangs that formed the original Commission, along with Al Capone and Lucky Luciano.

There had been speculation that Montagna had been part of the new Mafia leadership in Montreal and was trying to reorganize the leaderless group.

His death comes just two months after another man with Mafia ties, Raynald Desjardins, narrowly escaped death in a shooting in a suburb north of Montreal. Desjardins had close ties to Vito Rizzuto, the reputed head of the Montreal Mafia who is currently imprisoned in the United States.

A rash of killings and disappearances in late 2009 and early 2010 decimated the operation and have robbed him of many of his closest family members. Rizzuto’s father and son were gunned down, as were other friends, while his brother-in-law simply vanished.

Montagna became the latest name on the list.

Slain mobster ‘exported construction fraud’

Salvatore Montagna led Bonanno family in New York, returned to Montreal in 2009

By Paul Cherry, The Gazette November 26, 2011

Police at the scene where Salvatore Montagna was killed in Ile Vaudry, a small island south of the municipality of Charlemagne, near Repentigny on Thursday, November 24, 2011. Police say Montagna was attempting to take over the mafia in Montreal.

More Images »

Police at the scene where Salvatore Montagna was killed in Ile Vaudry, a small island south of the municipality of Charlemagne, near Repentigny on Thursday, November 24, 2011. Police say Montagna was attempting to take over the mafia in Montreal.

Photograph by: Dario Ayala, THE GAZETTE

Paul Cherry


Salvatore Montagna, the reputed mafioso killed on Thursday, was very active in construction fraud in the U.S. and continued the practice when he was deported to Canada, an expert on money laundering says.

Jeffrey Robinson, the New York-based bestselling author of books like The Merger: How Organized Crime is Taking Over Canada and the World and The Laundrymen was not surprised to learn that Montagna, who was briefly the head of the Bonanno crime family in the U.S., was fatally shot in an apparently well planned hit as he was leaving a house on Île Vaudry, a small island just east of Montreal.

Robinson said Montagna, 40, was “a great earner” for the Bonanno family in New York when it came to construction fraud, which perhaps explained his quick ascent to the top of the organization despite being in his mid-30s at the time.

Montagna was deported to Canada in 2009 after authorities realized he wasn’t an American citizen and had a criminal record for contempt of court. Montagna, a dual citizen, was born in Montreal and raised in Italy. For his deportation he chose to return to Montreal and, after apparently laying low for months, suddenly emerged in 2011 as someone police sources believe was eagerly seeking to take control of the Mafia in Montreal.

Robinson said he had learned that Montagna tried to apply what he was doing in New York to the construction industry in Montreal.

I know he simply exported the construction fraud to Montreal. It was what he knew. He took what he knew and brought it to Montreal,” said Robinson, who is often invited to speak to police investigators at conferences on money laundering in the U.S. and Canada. Last month, he was an invited speaker at the International Money Laundering Conference which was held in downtown Montreal and attended by more than 600 delegates from 48 countries.

Montagna, known as Sal the Ironworker when he was in the Bonanno organization, owned a steel company in New York.

The author said it is estimated that the five major Mafia families in New York take a five-per-cent share of all construction projects in the city.

The Bonanno family was a big part of it,” Robinson said while alleging the organizations were experts in over-estimating the amount of workers or materials needed for large-scale construction projects. “From early on, the Bonannos saw a niche in construction. They were experts in inflating invoices.”

During deportation proceedings in 2009, the U.S. government alleged that Montagna was the acting boss of the Bonanno family, a position he likely attained following three disastrous years for the organization. Most of its leadership was rounded up in 2004 as part of an FBI investigation, and its leader at the time, Joseph Massino, became an informant. This in turn led to the arrest of the next Bonanno leader, Vincent Basciano. Montagna assumed leadership over what was left.

U.S. court records indicate American authorities continued gathering information about Montagna long after he was deported.

On Dec. 2, Salvatore (Sal the Plumber) Volpe, 48, a man described in court documents as “an associate within the Bonanno crime family,” is scheduled to be sentenced in a U.S. District court in Brooklyn in a racketeering case involving two acts of extortion, including one he carried out for Montagna.

On April 8, Volpe entered his plea under sealed proceedings that were only recently made public. According to his allocution, Volpe and Paul Spina, a soldier in the Bonanno family, were dispatched in 2006 to threaten a man who owed money to a legitimate company owned by Montagna.

Paul Spina told the individual that if he didn’t pay, I would be back to see him,” Volpe said in court.

The other criminal act in the racketeering case involved orders Volpe said he took from Anthony (Fat Tony) Rabito, Montagna’s consigliere, or adviser. Volpe said Rabito was concerned that an associate was withholding money the organization had collected for the many wives of Bonanno family members who were incarcerated in 2006.

I told him that if he didn’t get in touch with Anthony Rabito, I would be back to smack him,” Volpe said in U.S. court back in April.

Volpe, who is a government witness, made headlines in New York tabloids this year when he testified in a murder trial involving Basciano. He revealed that a New York restaurateur paid mobsters $50,000 to avoid being killed for impregnating Volpe’s wife.

On Friday, Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Benoit Richard said there were no new developments to report in the investigation into Montagna’s death. He said autopsy results would likely be available on Monday. No one has been arrested in connection with the homicide.

Montagna is believed to have been shot as he exited a house on Île Vaudry and then, in an attempt to elude the shooter, jumped into a narrow section of the Assomption River which he swam across to nearby Charlemagne, a municipality near Repentigny. When police arrived they found him lying on the shore of the river and tried to resuscitate Montagna. He was declared dead after being taken to a nearby hospital.

Montagna did not reside in Île Vaudry and the house he was visiting was reportedly owned by a known criminal.


4 Responses to “Joe Bruno on the Mob — Alleged Mob Boss Found Dead in Canadian River”

  1. bill dwyer jr Says:


  2. Did fat tony Anthony Rabito have a brother richard?

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