Longtime Montreal Mafia member Raynald Desjardins was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in the assassination of former Bonanno crime family boss Salvatore Montagna in 2011. Subtracting the time Desjardins has already served behind bars, he only has six and a half years left to serve.
The Canadian prison system will not be happy to see Desjardins back. He spent 15 years there after having been convicted of conspiring to smuggle 700 kilograms of cocaine in the early 1990s and made quite the impression journalist Paul Cherry writes in the Montreal Gazette.
“Parole board decisions from Desjardins’s first sentence describe how on the first day he arrived at Leclerc Institution, a former federal penitentiary in Laval, he shook hands with the warden and said, in front of several other inmates, that everything would be OK now that he was there,” Cherry writes. “Other inmates referred to him as ‘the Millionaire’ and it soon appeared to guards at Leclerc that Desjardins was running the 4AB wing of the penitentiary. Within weeks, inmates who got along with Desjardins were refusing to be transferred out of the wing.”
Montagna’s murder was the result of a struggle for control over the family then led by boss Vito Rizzuto, whose influence decreased after he was imprisoned in the United States. Several factions vied to become top dog, but Canadian-American Mafia boss Montagna lacked the strong connections to make it work and perished as a result. Six others pleaded guilty to their involvement in Montagna’s murder in March.
Having gotten rich from illicit drug deals and subsequent investments into legitimate properties, Desjardins is well equipped to spend some years in the can. It will be just like in the old days when he ruled the yard. Of course, this time his notoriety places him and his warden and guards under much more scrutiny, making his stay a lot less pleasurable.
Not to mention the fact that he has made a lot of enemies both in and outside of prison. Last year, former Hells Angels boss Maurice “Mom” Boucher was charged with plotting Desjardins murder. Without his “Godfather” Vito Rizzuto protecting him, Desjardins is slowly finding out that in absence of a strong king there is only chaos and death.
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