Reputed mobster Antonio (Tony) Mucci was back in court for a bail hearing Tuesday after being arrested Aug. 28 on weapons charges.

The Crown pushed the judge to deny Mucci bail despite the relatively minor charges he faces based on his background as one of the most influential members of Montreal's Italian mafia believed to be the de-facto head of the Rizzuto clan, CTV Montreal's Stephane Giroux reported Tuesday from the courthouse.

Mucci was imprisoned in 1974 for attempted murder after walking into the offices of Montreal's Le Devoir newspaper and shooting journalist Jean-Pierre Charbonneau several times.

Charbonneau had been covering the Montreal mafia for the newspaper and wrote several stories that were embarrassing to the mob.

He survived the shooting and went to have a 30-year career as a Parti Quebecois MNA, including several years as a minister, before retiring in 2006.

Mucci a rising star

Upon his release from prison after an eight-year team, Mucci became a rising star in the Montreal mafia, Giroux said.

Police arrested Mucci in August in his armoured Ford Expedition with bulletproof glass.

Two men arrested along with Mucci are believed to be his bodyguards: Jesse Petrocco, 21, and Carmine Serino, 41.

The bodyguards were arrested in Boucherville while Mucci was arrested later in the day on the streets of Montreal. All three were allegedly armed at the time of their arrest, and face weapons charges.

Prosecutor Isabelle Grondin is trying to convince a judge to deny bail for Mucci and his alleged accomplices. A publication ban prevents the media from releasing further details.

Protection following mob hits

It is believed Mucci was driving with heavy security in protect himself following a spate of mafia assassinations in recent months.

Last winter, Nick Rizzuto Jr. the son of jailed mob leader Vito Rizzuto was gunned down in a daylight shooting in Notre Dame de Grace.

In the spring, second-in-command Paolo Renda disappeared without a trace.

In late June, Agostino Cuntrera and a bodyguard were also gunned down in St. Leonard.

Police sources tell CTV News members of the mafia are more armed than ever, fearing an all-out gang war, and police hope to keep more mobsters behind bars to protect the public.