Crime experts are expecting Montreal’s gang wars to heat up this year.
Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito walked out of the Montreal courthouse on Monday, February 19 as free men. That this caused surprise among organized crime observers is understandable. That it caused extreme frustration among law enforcement is probable, given that this is yet another case against Quebec-based organized crime figures botched by the cops and the Crown.
The two alleged high profile Mafia leaders had their charges of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and gangsterism tossed out of court after Quebec Superior Court Judge Eric Downs ruled that key evidence was inadmissible. That evidence stemmed from wiretaps planted by police in 2015 in the office of lawyer Loris Cavaliere—wiretaps that the judge said violated the sanctity of solicitor-client privilege. The accused argued that investigators didn’t put in enough safeguards to guarantee the privacy of Cavaliere’s other client. The judge sided with them and threw the wiretap evidence out, leaving the Crown with little else to prove Rizzuto and Sollecito’s guilt.