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'Big player' in Montreal Mafia gunned down in restaurant — ending months of peace

After months of relative peace within Montreal’s Mafia circles, one of its members was fatally shot in a restaurant in Montreal's Riviere-des-Prairies Monday afternoon.

Police sources have confirmed that the city’s latest homicide was Tonino Callocchia, 53, a man who survived an attempt on his life in February 2013 and has been described in past parole decisions as “an active member of the Italian Mafia.”

Callocchia was pronounced dead at the scene of the Monday afternoon shooting, at around 1:30 p.m., at Bistro XO Plus on Henri-Bourassa Blvd. E. near the corner of LJ-Forget Ave.

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Why, Pete? Why?”

Sprawled across the front seat of a rental car in a ramshackle construction yard in Sicily and bleeding from a dozen bullet wounds, Juan Ramon Fernandez did not beg for his life or cry or shout or pray. A perfect gangster knows when and how he is going to die. He spent his final breath only voicing surprise at who was standing over him.

“Why, Pete? Why?”

The retort from the gunman at the open car door, nursing an injury of his own from the frantic ambush, was to lift his pistol once more, aim at Fernandez’s head and fire a finishing round.

Fernandez did not learn the answer to his question that spring night in 2013 but a court in Palermo is now filling in the blanks.

“He was a big player (within the Mafia). That is certain,” said one police source on Monday.

Montreal police spokesperson Raphael Bergeron said the victim was struck by several bullets fired by one gunman or possibly more. The shooter, or shooters, fled the scene before police arrived and, as of late Monday afternoon, the Montreal police had not released any descriptions of possible suspects.

His known ties to the Mafia date to the 1980s. In 1994, he was charged, and later convicted, in a money laundering case that linked him to Vincenzo (Jimmy) Di Maulo, the brother of Joseph Di Maulo, an influential Mafia boss who was killed, at age 70, in front of his home in Blainville on Nov. 4, 2012. That was a slaying police sources have theorized was a response to the many attacks on the Rizzuto organization in the years preceding it.

According to the provincial business registry, Callocchia was the owner of a numbered company, 9166-3807 Quebec Inc., that was involved in real estate management and another company called Construction T.D.P. It was his involvement in both of those fields that saw Callocchia charged, in May 2013, with extortion and uttering threats to a woman who was close to Raynald Desjardins, an influential Mob figure awaiting trial for the murder of Salvatore Montagna, a man who tried to take control of the Mafia in Montreal before he was gunned down in November 2011.

Via - news.nationalpost.com