Alleged Rizzuto Organized Crime Family Associate Pleads Guilty to Narcotics Trafficking Crimes Carrying Sentence of 10 Years to Life
Defendant Trafficked Over 80 Kilograms of Cocaine and Laundered Millions of Dollars in Narcotics Proceeds
Alessandro Taloni, an alleged associate of the Montreal-based Rizzuto organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, pled guilty earlier today before U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn to cocaine trafficking charges contained in a superseding indictment returned on April 3, 2013. When sentenced, Taloni will face a statutory mandatory minimum ten-year sentence and a maximum of life imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $10 million. As part of his sentence, Taloni will also forfeit $2,663,191 that federal agents seized from multiple locations in California that Taloni used to store narcotics and drug proceeds.
The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York (DEA).
Taloni was charged with narcotics and money laundering offenses as a part of an indictment in which ten members of a Montreal-based drug distribution organization affiliated with the Rizutto and Bonanno crime families, the Hells Angels, and the Sinaloa Cartel have been charged with trafficking over $1 billion worth of marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy into the United States between 1998 and 2012. The organization allegedly transported tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana from outdoor growers in British Colombia to Montreal, Canada, and controlled numerous warehouses in and around Montreal for the manufacture of ecstasy and hydroponic marijuana. The drugs were smuggled into the United States using transportation networks run by the Hells Angels and Native American co-conspirators from the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation along the U.S./Canadian border. Once the drugs were sold in the United States, much of it by distributors tied to the Bonanno crime family in New York, the organization used millions of dollars in drug proceeds to purchase more cocaine from the powerful Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico for exportation to and distribution in Canada. Taloni was personally sent from Montreal to Los Angeles, California, to receive those drug proceeds and to purchase cocaine from the Mexican sources.
During the course of the government’s investigation, federal agents seized approximately $1 million in drug proceeds and 49 kilograms of cocaine from searches of Taloni’s Mercedes Benz sedan, Beverly Hills residence and a stash house operated by Taloni in Beverly Hills. Search warrants executed at other stash houses operated by the organization in the Los Angeles area resulted in the seizure of an additional 34 kilograms of cocaine and approximately $1,600,000. In total agents seized more than $10,000,000 in narcotics proceeds from the organization.
“Taloni was a major narcotics distributor who used his connections to powerful international organized crime groups to obtain and distribute tens of millions of dollars worth of deadly narcotics. His conviction highlights this Office’s commitment to the global fight against transnational organized crime,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch thanked the Laval Police Service, Laval, Quebec; Santa Ana, Beverly Hills, and Anaheim, California Police Departments; and Nassau County Police Department for their invaluable assistance during this multi-year international investigation.
“No borders will obstruct the DEA, Nassau County Police Department, and Laval Police Service from bringing international drug traffickers to justice. This international organized crime syndicate operated on both sides of the northern border and across our southern border,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Crowel. “This plea was a direct result of the outstanding collaboration between the US Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York, federal, state, and local law enforcement.”
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Steven L. Tiscione, Gina M. Parlovecchio, Amir H. Toossi, and Tanisha Payne.
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