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Cotroni crime family

Cotroni crime family
Founded byVincenzo Cotroni
Founding locationMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Years active1950s–?
EthnicityPeople of Italian descent as "made men", and other ethnicities as "associates"
Criminal activitiesRacketeering, drug trafficking, murder, illegal gambling, corruption, extortion, theft, loan sharking, fraud
AlliesBonanno crime family
RivalsRizzuto crime family

The Cotroni crime family (Italian: [koˈtroːni]) is an organized crime family based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Cotroni family was historically controlled by mobsters of Calabrian ancestry. The territory controlled by the family once covered most of southern Quebec and Ontario, until the Rizzuto crime family supplanted them.[1] The FBI considered the family a branch of the Bonanno crime family.[1]


In the 1950s the family formed a strong connection to the New York Bonanno crime family as the crime family began controlling the majority of Montreal's drug trade.[2] The Cotroni family also kept ties with other Mafia families in Italy and throughout the US and Canada. In the 1970s an internal power struggle war broke out between Sicilian and Calabrian factions in the family, notably aspiring Sicilian mob boss Nicolo Rizzuto.[3][2][4] During the violent Mafia war in Montreal Paolo Violi (who was acting capo for Vic Cotroni) and his brothers were murdered along with others through the mid 1970s to the early 1980s until the war ceased.[2][5][6]

The Calabrian faction continued to operate after the early 1980s with Vic Cotroni as the boss until he died, of cancer, in 1984, leaving his youngest brother Frank Cotroni as the boss.[7] Frank Cotroni developed connections with French-Canadian Réal Simard, who became his driver and hitman. In 1986, Simard turned informant after his arrest, confessing to five murders and involvement with Cotroni. Cotroni was sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter in 1987.[8] Frank Cotroni died, of cancer, in August 2004, leaving the Rizzuto Sicilian faction as the most powerful crime family in Canada.[9]

On November 4, 2012 Joe Di Maulo, a longtime ally of the Cotroni family, was murdered outside his Montreal home.[10] Police believe his murder is part of an ongoing power struggle between the Sicilians and their rivals.[11]


  1. ^ a b Lamothe & Humphreys, The Sixth Family, p.308
  2. ^ a b c The Rizzuto family by Corinne Smith (January 6, 2011) CBC News Montreal
  3. ^ "The man they call the Canadian Godfather". National Post. February 26, 2001. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  4. ^ Champlain, Pierre De. "Organized Crime".
  5. ^ "Canada's alleged Godfather pleads guilty" Archived 2012-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, Montreal Gazette, September 18, 2008
  6. ^ "Mob takes a hit" Archived 2008-03-23 at the Wayback Machine, Montreal Gazette, November 23, 2006
  7. ^ FBI linked Montreal mobster to alleged U.S. assassination plot Archived 2012-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, CanWest News Service, July 10, 2007
  8. ^ "Montreal crime family's last member dies at 72". 18 August 2004. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  9. ^ Alleged crime boss Cotroni buried in Montreal, CTV News, August 22, 2004
  10. ^ Reputed Montreal crime boss Joseph Di Maulo killed in his driveway north of the city, National Post, November 5, 2012
  11. ^ Police fear Montreal mobster’s murder may be start of bloody Mafia war, National Post, November 5, 2012