Montreal police probe death linked to organized crime
Published Sunday, December 9, 2012 4:22PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 9, 2012 11:39PM EST
MONTREAL -- Montreal police continued to search for clues on Sunday following the death of a man believed to be connected to organized crime, the latest in a string of killings in Quebec's largest city that one expert predicts will continue.
A police source identified the victim as Emilio Cordeleone. Dany Richer, a spokesman for the force, said the 50-year-old victim was known to police.
"Our investigators do believe it's linked to Italian organized crime," he said.
Richer said police discovered the body inside an SUV on Saturday morning in Montreal's north end. The victim had suffered serious injuries to his upper body, he said.
An autopsy is scheduled to be performed on Monday.
There have been a number of killings in Montreal in the past couple of years involving family members or associates of reputed Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto, including his father and his son.
Rizzuto, 66, served eight years in an American prison on racketeering charges and was immediately deported back to Canada upon his release in October.
Antonio Nicaso, an Toronto-based author who has written extensively on the Mafia, said tensions have risen since Rizzuto's return from prison.
"We should expect more violence," he said.
Nicaso said the current upheaval makes it hard to know who is behind such attacks and where allegiances lie in the power struggle.
"It's very difficult to distinguish the people on one side from the people on the other side," he said.
Nicaso said Cordeleone's family was well-known to police in Quebec. The family was referenced in a 1991 RCMP report about the Mafia in Quebec, he said.
The latest death comes after Quebec's public inquiry into corruption in the construction industry wrapped up until the New Year.
There are reports that Rizzuto has been asked to testify before the commission, which has produced bombshell revelations tying together elements in politics, business and organized crime.