Shooting linked to rising mafia turf war: police
Published Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:47PM EDT
Montreal police say Tuesday's double shooting, which killed Agostino Cuntrera, 66, a reputed member of the Rizzuto clan, is linked to a turf war between two mafia families.
Cuntrera was gunned down yesterday around 4 p.m. outside his business in St. Leonard. He died at the scene.
His bodyguard, who was with Cuntrera, was also shot and died later in hospital.
People working in the area said they heard gunshots and droppped to the ground to avoid any crossfire.
Following the incident, the Montreal police major crimes unit began searching for a black Chevrolet Impala.
Investigators eventually questioned two people in connection with the vehicle, but they were released.
Some experts believe the incident is related to the Calabrian clan, a rival family of the Sicilians.
"The Calabrians are from Ontario, and they want to take over the mafia in Montreal," said Andre Cedilot, a former La Presse reporter and organized crime specialist. "They want to take the power back to the Calabrians."
Mafia expert James Dubro thinks rising players are taking advantage of an opportune moment.
"I think the younger mobsters are more violent, when you stay in power a long time, you tend to let your muscle down, you tend to get flabby. I think you can say that about some of the Rizzuto people," he said.
Tuesday's shooting only adds to a string of mafia-related incidents in the city.
Last August, Fredrico Del Peschio, a close associate of the Rizzuto family, was murdered.
In December 2009, Vito Rizzuto's son Nick Jr. was killed, and in May of this year, Nick Rizzuto's brother-in-law, Paolo Renda, disappeared, and still hasn't been found.
Cedilot believes the rivalry between the two families is only heating up. He says there will likely be more bloodshed in 2012 when Vito Rizutto is released from prison.