TORONTO Ė One of the men now charged in last summer's brazen execution-style murder of a man in Little Italy is Nicola "Nick" Nero, the alleged kingpin of a major drug-trafficking ring.
Another man has also been charged and a third is now sought in John Raposo's murder. Raposo himself had suspected ties to the Mafia.
Toronto Police Homicide Staff-Insp. Greg McLane will release the names of the newly accused and the wanted man, as well as reveal new details of the investigation into the 23rd murder of 2012, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at headquarters
Nero has been imprisoned in Kingston since last spring.
Raposo, 35, was sitting on the patio of the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe, watching a soccer game on television in the middle of the day when a man dressed as a construction worker walked up and shot him in the head with a .45-calibre handgun.
A 39-year-old man, who was with Raposo watching Italy taking on Ireland at Euro 2012, was wounded in the shooting.
Dean Wiwchar, then 26, was arrested in downtown Toronto on June 26, 2012, and charged with first-degree murder.
The accused, a Stouffville native with a lengthy criminal record, remains in custody awaiting trial. His lawyer has said he plans to plead not guilty.
Nero, believed to be 36, is now also charged with first-degree murder.
He was brought from Kingston to Toronto to appear at Old City Hall court Wednesday morning.
Nero is an alleged kingpin of an organized crime network worth hundreds of millions of dollars with tied to Mexican drug cartels.
He was arrested in May 2012 in St. Catharines as part of a drug task force that seized millions in drugs, cash, cars and homes. He was sent to Kingston Penitentiary for parole violations and continued to run his drug ring, police have said.
Nero was re-arrested in November in the second part of drug investigation into allegations that 400 kilograms of cocaine were being brought into Canada.
Police believe Nero's rise to alleged kingpin status started back in 2003 when he was involved in the $2.7-million robbery of an armoured truck. Nero's portion, $1 million, was never recovered, police said.
He is believed to have used the cash to establish himself in the drug world, police said.
With files from QMI Agency