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Musitano crime family

Musitano crime family
Founded byAngelo Musitano
Founding locationHamilton, Ontario, Canada
Years active1940s–present
TerritoryVarious neighborhoods over Hamilton and Toronto
EthnicityPeople of Italian descent as "made men", and other ethnicities as "associates"
Criminal activitiesRacketeering, loan sharking, money laundering, fraud, prostitution, murder, gambling, drug trafficking, smuggling, extortion and corruption
AlliesRizzuto crime family
Buffalo crime family
West End Gang
Hells Angels
Various other crime families and gangs
RivalsPapalia crime family
Various gangs over Canada including their allies

The Musitano crime family (Italian: [muziˈtaːno]) is a 'Ndrangheta organization based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The Musitano clan is one of three centralized Mafia organizations in Hamilton, with the other two being the Papalia crime family and the Luppino crime family.[1]


In 1937, Angelo Musitano, who was also known as the "Beast of Delianova", fled illegally from Delianuova, Italy to Canada, after killing his sister Rosa, after he believed she had disgraced the family by becoming pregnant out of wedlock; he lived under the name of Jim D'Augustino upon landing in Canada.[1] In 1940, an Italian court convicted Angelo in absentia to 30 years in prison.[2] In 1965, Angelo was extradited to Italy to serve his sentence.[3] "The Beast" had two nephews, Anthony "Tony" and Dominic Musitano.

In 1978, Dominic Musitano, owner of a Hamilton haulage company, Rocco Luppino, and Angelo Natale, president of the Ontario Haulers Association, were charged with conspiracy to commit extortion after police uncovered a protection racket on Ontario's independent trucking industry; after a five-year legal battle, they were acquitted in 1983.[4][5]

In January 1983, Tony was sentenced to 15 years in prison for bombing a number of businesses in Hamilton, including bakeries. While in prison, he orchestrated the murder of Toronto mobster Domenic Racco of the Siderno Group, who violated their cocaine trade agreement by dealing behind Musitano's back, and also owed the Musitano family as much as $500,000.[6] Tony Musitano befriended inmate Billy Rankin at Millhaven Institution in Kingston who was due to be released in December that year.[6] Giuseppe "Joey" Avignone, nephew of Tony and Dominic Musitano, often visited Tony in prison to discuss details of the plot, which were secretly recorded by the police.[6] Rankin was released on December 7, and given "the okay" by Dominic Musitano. On the night of December 10, 1983, Racco got into a car in front of his Mississauga apartment with Rankin, Dominic Musitano and Peter Majeste, thinking it was to discuss potential drug trade – the night he was taken to a railway track and killed.[6] In March 1984, Dominic and Tony Musitano, Avignone and Rankin were arrested. Dominic Musitano received six years for being an accessory after the fact to murder. Tony Musitano, already in prison on the bombing charges, was sentenced to 12 years concurrently, Avignone got five years and Rankin was sentenced to 12 years, all three pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit murder.[6][7] Tony was granted full parole in 1990.[2] On April 17, 2019, Tony Musitano died in Caledonia, Ontario of natural causes at the age of 72.[8]

Dominic Musitano's two sons Pasquale "Pat" or "Fat Pat" and Angelo "Ang" Musitano joined their father in organized crime. By 1992, the Hamilton-Wentworth Police estimated that the family was earning $14 million per year through various aspects of illegal gaming.[9] The crime family was led by Dominic until his death on August 13, 1995 from a heart attack at the age of 57.[1] Pat Musitano took over as boss of the 'Ndrangheta organization.[10] Pat Musitano was president of P&L Tire Recycling Inc. in 1992; he was found guilty of failing to make his Mount Hope tire dump conform to the Ontario fire code. He and his father were later handed a $1.8-million fine from the Ministry of the Environment for its cleanup of the site, a fine Pat dodged with a 1993 bankruptcy claim.[11]

In 1997, Pat Musitano was in charge of a sports betting ring which brought in as much as $100,000 in bets per week; his cousin Joey Avignone also led a network for distributing illegal gambling machines in bars.[2] Also later that year, the family was accused of ordering the mob hits of Johnny Papalia, to whom the Musitanos owed money, and Papalia's right-hand man, Carmen Barillaro.[12] The hitman for both murders, and for the 1985 murder of Salvatore Alaimo who owed gambling money to the Musitano crime family, was Kenneth Murdock.[13][14][15] In November 1998, Murdock pleaded guilty to three counts of second degree murder, was sentenced to life imprisonment, and named Pat and Angelo as the men who had ordered the murders; he also said that Angelo had been waiting in the vehicle outside during the Barillaro murder.[13]

In February 2000, the Musitano brothers were sentenced to 10 years for conspiracy in the murder of Barillaro in a plea bargain arrangement.[16] No action was taken against either in relation to the Papalia or the Alaimo murder.[12][13] In October 2006, the Musitano brothers were both released from prison.[1] Angelo was re-arrested in March 2007 for a parole violation. He was held in the minimum security Frontenac Institution until June 2007 when the parole board decided not to return him to prison.[17] Murdock was also later released on parole in 2011 after serving 13 years in prison.[18][15][14]

Later developments

Since the brothers' release, the police had little involvement with the family for some years.[10] Then, in September 2015, Pat Musitano's 2013 Ford Edge was set on fire in a suspected arson; his home also sustained minor damage.[19][20][21]

On May 2, 2017, Angelo Musitano was shot dead in his truck in the driveway of his home in Waterdown, Ontario in broad daylight at the age of 39.[7] Surveillance video showed a Ford Fusion in front of the home and a heavy-set man shooting Angelo. The vehicle was later found abandoned; it had been stolen previously.[10] Almost two months later, on June 26, 2017, Pat Musitano's home was shot at multiple times during the night; no one was injured.[22] Hamilton Police did not receive cooperation from the family; Pat refused police protection.[23][24]

On January 11, 2018, investigations into Angelo Musitano's death revealed four vehicles were involved, and that he was stalked in the days leading up to his murder.[25] On January 23, news reports from a press conference indicated that police believed that Angelo's murder and a Woodbridge, Ontario killing of veterinary technician Mila Barberi while she sat in her car with her boyfriend, two months earlier in March 2017, not previously considered to be related, appeared to have been carried out by the same individual based on footage of the shooter and the car used from surveillance cameras at the two locations. Detective-Sergeant Peter Thom of Hamilton Police stated "there is similar evidence, the same MO and the black Honda coupe."[26][27] According to York Regional Police, Barberi was not likely the intended target.[26] Barberi's boyfriend, Saverio Serrano, who was shot in the arm, was discovered to have connections to the 'Ndrangheta through his father, Diego Serrano of Vaughan, who was sentenced to four years and six months in prison on two counts of drugs conspiracy and one possession of proceeds of crime on January 15, 2018. The elder Serrano was an associate of crime figure, Antonio Sergi of Toronto, who was killed two weeks after Barberi's murder.[28][29] Police did not find a link between Angelo's and Barberi's murders and the shooting of Pat Musitano's house from June 2017.[30]

On 13 September 2018, real estate agent Albert Iavarone was shot outside his home in Ancaster, Ontario, a similar fashion as in the Musitano murder.[31] Sources involved in the investigation said it was possible that the shooting was in retaliation for the previous actions against the Musitano family. A Toronto Star summary added that the latest hit came in "the midst of a dispute between two Niagara Region groups of mobsters who are both tied to the New York State (Buffalo) mob.[32] The resurgence of mafia violence lead police to believe Hamilton is the centre of a power struggle.[33]

On 20 September 2018, the police task force (Hamilton, York and RCMP under Project "Scopa") arrested Jabril Abdalla Hassan in Hamilton, and issued Canada-wide arrest warrants, later issuing international warrants, for Michael Cudmore and Daniel Tomassetti who had fled to Mexico; a $50,000 reward for information leading to their arrests was also offered by police.[33][34] All three men were charged with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of conspiracy to commit murder in both the Musitano and Barberi murders, and attempted murder on Serrano.[35][36] Cudmore was captured on surveillance camera at both murders with the same black Honda.[33] Daniele Ranieri of Bolton, Ontario is believed to be connected to orchestrating the murders; he was found dead in Mexico in March 2018.[33]


  1. ^ a b c d "Unease as mobsters set free". National Post. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Humphreys, Adrian (1999). The Enforcer:Johnny Pops Papalia, A Life and Death in the Mafia. Toronto: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-200016-4.
  3. ^ [], p=280
  4. ^ "Realtor's murder 'smells like a power play' in Hamilton's Mafia underworld, ex-undercover cop says". 1 February 2019.
  5. ^ Schneider, Iced: The Story of Organized Crime in Canada, pp. 333
  6. ^ a b c d e "Chapter 2 – Settling scores". Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Mobster Angelo Musitano shot in Waterdown driveway". The Hamilton Spectator. 2017-05-02.
  8. ^ "Tony Musitano, once a notorious Mafia boss with a string of convictions and a wicked sense of humour, dead at 72". 17 April 2019.
  9. ^ [], p=540
  10. ^ a b c O'Reilly, Nicole (29 June 2017). "Police wary of more mob violence after Musitano's Hamilton home hit with gunfire".
  11. ^ "Hamilton mobsters: The Musitano family tree". 3 May 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Mafia hitman reveals his code for killings". 13 August 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  13. ^ a b c "Brothers plead guilty in mob murder case". 5 February 2000. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Kenny Murdock, mob-boss Papalia's killer, gets new identity". 28 July 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Hitman out on full parole". Niagara Falls Review.
  16. ^ "Notorious mobster Pat Musitano believed to be targeted in Hamilton house shooting".
  17. ^ "Mob Boss's Son Allowed to Remain Free". National Post. 6 June 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Parole of convicted mob killer notorious for his explosive temper tested by road raging motorist". 9 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Hamilton mobster's SUV found on fire in east end driveway". The Hamilton Spectator. 2015-09-22. Retrieved 2015-09-25.
  20. ^ Dunphy, Bill (24 September 2015). "Hamilton mobster's SUV fire may not be mob activity: expert".
  21. ^ O'Reilly, Nicole (28 June 2017). "Shooting at Hamilton mobster Pat Musitano's home a 'warning shot' after brother's murder".
  22. ^ "Hamilton home of Mafia boss Pat Musitano shot repeatedly during the night". 27 June 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  23. ^ "Don't expect Musitano retaliation after latest shooting, expert says".
  24. ^ "Mob chief 'Fat Pat' won't play canary". Toronto Sun.
  25. ^ "Angelo Musitano was being 'stalked' in the days before he was killed: police". 11 January 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Same gunman killed woman, mobster: Cops". 23 January 2018.
  27. ^ Edwards, Peter (23 January 2018). "Police link 2017 killings of reputed mobster Angelo Musitano, veterinary technician" – via
  28. ^ "Murder victim's boyfriend's dad has gangland connections". 24 January 2018.
  29. ^ "Vaughan restaurateur gets third prison term for cocaine trafficking". 15 January 2018.
  30. ^ "Police believe suspect in Musitano death also behind fatal Vaughan shooting". The Globe and Mail. 23 January 2018.
  31. ^ "Man fatally shot in Ancaster has links to organized crime: Hamilton police". Global News. 14 September 2018.
  32. ^ "Buffalo mob playing role in deadly Ontario dispute, sources say". Toronto Star. 17 September 2018.
  33. ^ a b c d "Mob, murder and the Hamilton connection". 16 November 2018.
  34. ^ "Police offer $50,000 reward for information on Musitano mob hit in Hamilton". 4 December 2018.
  35. ^ "Police arrest Hamilton man in killings of mobster Angelo Musitano, Toronto woman". CBC. 20 September 2018.
  36. ^ "Arrest has been made in fatal shootings of reputed mobster and innocent woman". CP24. 20 September 2018.

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