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RCMP's Project Clemenza breaks up cocaine trafficking ring
Police have arrested 14 people and are searching for a 15th suspect in connection with a cocaine trafficking ring
On Wednesday the RCMP's Combined Special Enforcement Unit said the ring was broken up as the final part of Project Clemenza, an operation that has been underway since 2010.
As part of this week's bust U.S. and Canadian officials seized more than 220 kg of cocaine, as well as $2 million in cash.
"They face charges mainly related to cocaine importation and trafficking. It was an important network that brought cocaine into Canada from the States using contacts that they had with commercial land carriers," said Corporal Camille Habel.
Police believe the group imported more than 1.4 tonnes of cocaine.
CFSEU said it believes this week's arrest will have a long-term effect on the supply of contraband drugs in Montreal.
Most of the 14 suspects will be charged Wednesday via a videoconference, although one of the suspects is already serving a prison sentence in Kingston.
Project Clemenza began during the heart of a Mafia war where multiple people with ties to the mob were killed in and around Montreal.
In earlier busts, police arrested people suspected of organizing arson and kidnappings, as well as drug trafficking.
The accused are:
- Franco Albanese, 49 years old, Saint-Leonard. He was arrested in 2014 as part of a tobacco smuggling investigation
- Martino Caputo, 42 years old, incarcerated in Kingston
- Antonio Ciavaglia, 56 years old, Kirkland
- Erasmo Crivello, 36 years old, Laval
- Liborio Cuntrera, 47 years old, Laval, is currently in Italy. He is the son of Agostino Cuntrera, who was killed in 2010.
- Claude Ducharme, 58 years old, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
- Antonio Guido, 40 years old, Ottawa
- Franck Iaconetti, 48 years old, Repentigny
- Hansley Joseph, 36 years old, Montreal. Served time for his role as a lieutenant in the Pelletier He survived a shooting that killed Bo-Gars street gang leader Chenier Dupuy
- Michele Lanni, 62 years old, Ile-Bizard
- Carmelo Marsala, 37 years old, Montreal
- Roberto Olaciregu-Martinez, 37 years old, Montreal
- Marco Pizzi, 46 years old, Montreal North
- Andreas Tasci, 44 years old, Laval
- Riccardo Preteroti, 48 years old, is still at large