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Five Families of New York City: Casino operator connected to the Rizzuto crime family denied parole

7025749 Five Families of New York City: Casino operator connected to the Rizzuto crime family denied parole
A man convicted of a series crimes committed while he helped run a clandestine casino for the Mafia in Montreal has been denied parole.
Nicola Di Marco, 43, had a hearing before the Parole Board of Canada on Wednesday while trying to obtain a release on the 4-year prison term he received last year for helping to operate a casino, between October 2005 and November 2006, financed by several heavyweights within the Mafia, including Nick “The Ritz” Rizzuto, the now deceased son of reputed mob boss Vito Rizzuto. Di Marco was convicted of conspiracy, committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal organization and possession of property obtained through crime. The hearing was presided over by board members Anne-Marie Asselin and Richard Belisle and was heard at the Drummond Institution, a medium-security penitentiary in Drummondville.
Part of his current sentence includes another conviction from when police caught him, while out on bail in the casino case, moving around Montreal with two firearms, including a loaded 9 mm handgun, while people involved with the Mafia in the city were embroiled in a violent internal conflict. When he was arrested in July 2010, Di Marco was already subject to a court order prohibiting him from possessing any firearms.
The conflict was created, in part, by the vacuum generated after the elder Rizzuto was extradited to the U.S. and convicted in a racketeering case. Vito Rizzuto is currently serving a 10-year in that case and is scheduled to be released in October. Several people have been murdered in recent years over what police believe was an attempt to take over the reins of the Mafia from the Rizzuto family. One of the recent victims of the conflict was Giuseppe “Closure” Colapelle, a man who was also involved in the secret casino where gamblers could take part in high-stakes poker games. Colapelle was murdered in March in St. Leonard. His death is mentioned in the parole decision as having caused concerns for Di Marco’s security behind bars.
According to a written summary of the parole board’s decision, Di Marco claims he is not concerned for his safety because he received the stiffest sentence of anyone arrested in connection with the casino and, he claims, he never told police who the firearms actually belonged to.
He also continues to deny being part of the Mafia, or being an influential figure within it. However, he continues to hang out with “influential members of traditional Italian organized crime” while he serves his sentence in Drummondville.
The parole board determined that while Di Marco takes part in, and even initiates, meetings with his case management team – the people who help inmates prepare for an eventual release – he appears to be superficial during them by refusing to discuss his ties to the Mafia. Di Marco was hoping to be released to halfway house and do community service but Asselin and Belisle were not convinced.
“It is clear to the parole board that you continue to favour the values of organized crime,” the author of the summary noted while listing the reasons for denying Di Marco a release. “Also, it was demonstrated that you know important members of the Italian Mafia and that you were a high-level intermediary. The people you frequent constitute a significant risk factor and the board is not convinced that you have made the decision to disassociate from them in a definitive manner.”
Di Marco has the right to appeal the decision.

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