|Around 200 people gathered at a church in the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville for the funeral of high-ranking Mafia member Rocco Sollecito who was gunned down last month.|
Rocco Sollecito, 67, was shot on May 27 while driving his white BMW SUV in Laval, north of Montreal. Rocco Sollecito was described by one crime expert as consigliere to the new leaders of the Mafia.
|Rocco Sollecito was shot dead on Boulevard St-Elzéar W., between Curé-Labelle et Chomedey Blvds in Laval. Sollecito was shot in his car and pronounced dead at the scene. Sollecito was shot when he stopped at a stop sign just 300 metres away from Laval police headquarters.|
"It's not complicated. It's a mob hit," said Laval police spokesman Franco Di Genova. Sollecito was a longtime friend of local mob boss Vito Rizzuto, and apparently remained loyal to the Rizzuto organization when it came under attack in 2010 and 2011.
Sollecito appeared to be the organization’s top decision-maker after Rizzuto’s father, Nicolo, was murdered, Rizzuto’s brother-in-law Paolo Renda was kidnapped, and Rizzuto himself was incarcerated.
Rocco Sollecito, Charlie Renda
|Rocco Sollecito’s expertise in the organization was bookmaking. After Vito Rizzuto died of natural causes in December 2013, a committee of six men reportedly took over the reins of the organization, and Sollecito’s loyalty appeared to have been rewarded in the shake-up.|
His son Stefano was reportedly given a high-ranking position on the committee and, as the eldest member of the group, Rocco was to have acted as an adviser to the younger generation. Stefano Sollecito was arrested late last year along with Vito’s son, Leonardo. Sollecito's shooting comes three months after Lorenzo (Skunk) Giordano, identified as a lieutenant in the Montreal Mafia, was killed in a parking lot in the Chomedey area of Laval.
Lorenzo (Skunk) Giordano
|Exactly one decade ago, Rocco Sollecito was part of a group of six men who seemed untouchable. The six had been chosen to take charge of the Mafia in Montreal while its leader, Vito Rizzuto, was incarcerated in the United States.|
Now, following Sollecito’s brazen killing only two of those six men remain alive and both were recently returned to federal penitentiaries out of concerns for their safety. Police say a man, described as being in his 30s and dressed entirely in black, was waiting at a bus shelter on St-Elzéar Blvd.
The gunman opened fire into the passenger-side window of Sollecito’s white BMW sport utility vehicle when it stopped at a stop sign at around 8:30 a.m.
|The first of the six to go was Vito Rizzuto’s brother-in-law, Paolo Renda, who was abducted off a street in May 2010 by men who appeared to be pretending to be plainclothes police officers. Renda has never been seen since.|
Six months after Renda was abducted, Rizzuto’s father, Nicolo (Zio Cola) Rizzuto was killed in his home. It was the clearest of signs that the Rizzuto organization was under attack from a group led by Salvatore Montagna.
Salvatore "Sal the Iron Worker" Montagna was an acting boss of the Bonanno crime family in New York. He was a dual citizen of Italy and Canada. Montagna was deported from the U.S. and came to Montreal
Agostino Cuntrera was executed May 30, 2010
Shortly after Vito Rizzuto's release, several men were killed in what is suspected to be retaliation for the hits on his family: drug dealers Emilio Cordileone, Tony Gensale, and Mohamed Awada were eliminated in back to back killings in November 2012. Also in November, Joe Di Maulo, an influential mobster who was suspected of having orchestrated the hits on the Rizzuto clan along with Raynald Desjardins and Salvatore Montagna, was executed in the driveway of his home.|
Nick Rizzuto Jr son of Vito Rizzuto, was shot dead on December 29, 2009.
Francesco (Chit) Del Balso
|Survivers of the six are Francesco (Chit) Del Balso, 46, and Francesco Arcadi, 62.|
Francesco (Chit) Del Balso
|Francesco (Chit) Del Balso, 46, informed the Parole Board of Canada last week in writing that he feels his life is not in danger even though his close friend, and fellow leader in the Rizzuto organization, Lorenzo (Skunk) Giordano, 52, was fatally shot in Laval on March 1. |
Giordano and Del Balso recently reached the statutory release dates on the lengthy sentences they received as a result of Project Colisée. Del Balso and Giordano were seen as potential candidates to assume the top position in the group.
Kia Sportage SUV with a broken passenger window in which 50 year-old Lorenzo Giordano met his fate.
The decision was made one day before Rocco Sollecito was murdered.
|Days after Giordano was killed, Del Balso was placed under arrest and returned to a penitentiary after Correctional Service of Canada decided to suspend his statutory release out of concerns for his safety. Last week, the parole board agreed with Del Balso that he should be released again. The summary reveals that Giordano was killed inside a car with his wife seated next to him “and information was received to the effect that (Del Balso) was next on the execution list.”|