Ontario man charged with first-degree murder in killing of Claudia Iacono outside Montreal salon
An Ontario man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Claudia Iacono, the daughter-in-law of Mafia associate Moreno Gallo, after she was gunned down at the wheel of her car in Montreal last month.
Joel Richard Clarke, 28, was arrested Tuesday in Milton, Ont. and brought to Montreal where he was formally charged Wednesday in the May 16 shooting.
Iacono, a 39-year-old mother of two, was fatally shot in the parking lot of Salon Deauville Coiffure Spa, a salon she owned in Côte-des-Neiges. She was pronounced dead at the scene and her death marked the eighth homicide of the year in Montreal.
Cmdr. Jean-Sébastien Caron, who heads Montreal police's major crime unit, announced the arrest at a news conference Wednesday, where he thanked Ontario Provincial Police for their support in the investigation, which is not yet over.
"We're looking for other suspects, for sure," said Caron, who praised his investigators for solving the crime so quickly.
"We are very, very proud of our team of investigators in this case … it's very rare to see an arrest for a first-degree murder within three weeks."
The accused is from Brampton, in the Greater Toronto Area, and is "related to a multitude of events of violence," according to Caron. He is due back in court July 13.
One day after the shooting, Montreal police chief Fady Dagher said he believed the killing was linked to organized crime. The victim was married to the son of Moreno Gallo, a man with links to organized crime who was assassinated in an Acapulco restaurant in Mexico on Nov. 10, 2013.
However, Caron was more tight-lipped on Wednesday, declining to say whether or not the Mafia was involved and telling reporters the exact motive behind the homicide was not yet known.
Mafia experts have said the killing of a woman who has links to organized crime figures is a rare move in the mob world.
Iacono's killing is among other recent cases of shootings in broad daylight involving people with links to Montreal's Mafia.
Del Balso was suspected by police of being behind the mid-March attempted murder of Leonardo Rizzuto, the son of the late Montreal Mafia Godfather, Vito Rizzuto. Leonardo Rizzuto survived the shooting on a Laval highway and when he tried to leave the country a few days later, he was stopped by police at the Montreal-Trudeau airport.