Rizzuto rivals targeted by police bust

Rizzuto investigation.

(REUTERS)

Rizzuto investigation. (REUTERS)

Brian Daly, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:13 PM ET

MONTREAL — The RCMP led a series of raids Thursday against a Mafia clan that was a bitter rival of the Rizzuto crime family.

Giuseppe "Ponytail" De Vito, killed by cyanide poisoning in a Quebec prison last year, once ran the dissident group.

More than 200 officers took part in the aptly named Project Clemenza, a four-year probe named after a burly enforcer in the film The Godfather.

Police, including SWAT teams, made 29 arrests in the Montreal area, Quebec City and Gatineau, across the river from Ottawa. Three men are still at large, say the Mounties.

They targeted two cells -- De Vito's group as well as another clan believed to be led by the Bastone brothers.

"The impact of Clemenza is significant," RCMP Supt. Denis Arcand told a news conference in Montreal.

"The elimination of these two dominant cells has shaken the entire structure of Italian organized crime in Montreal."


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