Police in Canada Tuesday said they had arrested three reputed mobsters and were going to charge three other persons in the murder of former acting Bonanno crime family boss Salvatore "Sal The Iron Worker" Montagna on Thanksgiving Day near Montreal.
Montagna, 40, who for a time lived in Elmont before he was deported to Canada in 2009, was shot on a small island north of Montreal on Nov. 24. Montagna tried to flee his assailants by swimming across a small river. He perished after reaching the opposite bank despite attempts by police to revive him.
A spokesman for the Surete du Quebec said the lead defendant taken into custody was Raynald Desjardins, 59, of Laval. Long considered an associate of the Rizzuto organized crime clan, Desjardins is considered a major organized crime figure in his own right, said Inspector Michel Forget of the Quebec police.
Two other suspects were arrested and two more were expected to be taken into custody last night, said Forget. Another man, Jack Simpson, 69, who has a drug conviction in California and is being detained for a parole violation in Canada, is also expected to be charged, Forget explained.
Forget said police weren't giving a motive for the slaying. But another police official said there had been speculation that Montagna, who owned a steel company in Brooklyn, was trying to muscle in on the Rizzuto clan turf.
"To me it looks like Sal came with too much swagger," said journalist Adrian Humphreys of the National Post in Canada and author of books on the Canadian mob. " When he pushed too far he got dusted. Montreal is the real deal when it comes to the mob. They don't mess around."
Over a year ago Montreal crime family patriarch Nicola Rizzuto was slain by a sniper and his son Nicola also was shot dead.