Raynald Desjardins, four others arrested for murder of Salvatore Montagna
Published Tuesday, December 20, 2011 1:50PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 19, 2013 7:27PM EST
Quebec provincial police arrested five people Tuesday for the murder of Salvatore Montagna, a mob boss killed near Montreal in November.
Those arrested include Raynald Desjardins who is believed to be a longtime denizen of the uppermost reaches of the Rizzuto crime hierarchy and a close associate of jailed leader Vito Rizzuto.
His assistant Vittorio Mirarchi, 34, of Ste- Adele and Felice Racaniello, of Montreal, 27 and two others who were not named, were also arrested.
All five face charges of premeditated murder at the Joliette courthouse. About 200 officers from several police forces combined in the investigation and arrests. They raided nine homes and six vehicles.
Jack Simpson, 69, of Charlemagne who owns the house where Montagna was slain, also faces charges. Simpson is already in prison on parole violation charges.
Desjardins, 59, has a long criminal record including a conviction on cocaine importation charges. He was the target of an attempted hit near his home in Laval in mid-September. His assailant was said to have attempted to shoot him from a seadoo.
Desjardins is a rare non-Italian within the inner circle of the Rizzuto clan and he is the brother-in-law of reputed Sicilian mobster Jo Di Maulo.
Montagna was shot and killed in the early afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 on Ile Vaudry just north of Montreal. He was chased from a house by gunmen and pulled from the river by police.
Montagna had come to Montreal after being deported from New York where he had been one of the youngest-ever bosses of a depleted Bonnano crime family. His arrival inspired considerable speculation as it coincided with a lengthy series of slayings of Rizzuto family and associates.
Both Desjardins and Montagna were considered to be contenders for the top post of the local Mafia, which has sat vacant since Vito Rizzuto started serving a murder term in the U.S. which will end with his scheduled release October 6, 2012.