Canadian Gangland Shooting May Have Ties To Detroit Underworld, Feds Head Over The Border

Federal authorities in Michigan have chimed in regarding the investigation of a shooting and possible attempted drive-by mob hit that took place last week in Windsor, Canada, located just outside of Detroit, according to exclusive Gangster Report sources.The shooting was caught on tape (see this article’s featured image), doesn’t appear to have hit its mark and resulted in an innocent bystander almost being struck instead of its target.

Last Wednesday afternoon (September 9) witnesses on the outskirts of Windsor’s Little Italy neighborhood saw a man in the front passenger seat of a hunter green-colored Toyota open fire on another man in the driver’s seat of a new-model black Jaguar. The shooting occurred on Howard Street, just a block south of Erie Street, (the Little Italy district’s main drag), as both vehicles slowed down and approached a traffic light. The driver of the Jaguar wasn’t hit and took off in hot pursuit of the Toyota after averting harm, per witnesses and taped footage. No arrests have been made. The names of the shooter and target in the attempted murder are unknown.

FBI, DEA and ATF agents from their respective Detroit offices traveled across the border this week, taking the short five-minute drive into Canada to meet with detectives in Windsor, which resides in the province of Ontario roughly three hours south of Toronto, about the case and possible motives related to organized crime in Detroit, per sources. The American mafia in neighboring Detroit has always controlled the racket territory in Windsor dating back to the Prohibition Era. Law enforcement in Michigan has long viewed reputed Detroit mafia consigliere Anthony (Tony Pal) Palazzolo as the man the mob in the Motor City tasks with looking after its affairs in Canada.

“If someone is getting rubbed out in Little Italy in Windsor, somebody in Detroit either knows about it and sanctioned it or ordered it,” said one source.

Palazzolo, 72, is a convicted felon and racketeer, but has never been criminally charged with perpetrating any personal acts of violence. His name has been linked to homicide investigations in the past as a suspect, though, including the infamous assassination of Teamsters union power Jimmy Hoffa back in the summer of 1975. He was pinched for bookmaking and extortion in the 1980s and was busted and served a prison term in the 1990s from his offering to launder drug proceeds for an undercover Canadian cop. Alleged to have attained capo status when he got of the can in the money-washing case – and per sources, in addition to the Windsor and “Downriver” rackets he already held, getting awarded the Greektown and Sicilian “Zip” crews, too -,Tony Pal is rumored to have been upped to the Detroit mob’s consigliere post late last year by reputed don Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone.

In FBI recordings made in his office headquarters at Eastern Market’s Detroit Sausage Company, Tony Pal bragged of stuffing Hoffa’s dead body through a sausage auger. Recently-deceased former crime family underboss Anthony (Tony Z) Zerilli told the FBI in the years before he died last March that Palazzolo was part of the hit team that kidnapped and killed Hoffa on July 30, 1975, snagging him from a restaurant parking lot in suburban Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and executing him on a farm in rural Northern Oakland County owned by then-acting boss Giacamo (Black Jack) Tocco. A dig of the land in 2013 yielded nothing and Tocco died in 2014 of natural causes, following a 40-year reign atop the legendarily-stable Midwest rustbelt crime conglomerate his dad and uncle founded 40 years before that.

The mere inkling of the idea that the notoriously stealthy Tony Palazzolo or the Detroit Family, in general, would authorize or okay such an act like what happened in Windsor last week seemed preposterous to one Gangland source and local mob “insider.”

“That ain’t what Tony Pal is all about, he would never be involved with anything like that,” said the source accompanied by a laugh. “That’s Cowboy shit, what happened there, that’s not his style. Trying to do a guy in broad daylight on a street corner with all kinds of people around, that’s not the way these fellas (the Detroit mob) operate. Tony Pal is a super street savvy guy. I guarantee he didn’t have anything to do with that thing over there. None of the Detroit Outfit guys did and you can print that in big bold letters.”

The Detroit mob planted a flag in Windsor during the height of Prohibition (at that time a key entry point into the United States from Canada and integral property within the bootlegging industry) and assigned Joseph (Cockeyed Joe) Catalanotte the responsibility of overseeing the valuable region. Catalanotte ran Windsor on behalf of the Detroit crime family from around 1925 until he was deported to Sicily in the 1960s. Salvatore (Sam the Rock) Misuraca represented the Windsor faction of the Family at an FBI-monitored ceremony inaugurating Jack Tocco as the historic Family’s new Godfather in June 1979 at a swanky hunting lodge near Ann Arbor and the prestigious University of Michigan campus and attended by most syndicate brass.

Windsor police have publically stated it believes last week’s shooting was a “targeted incident,” and that the parties in the two cars knew each other. Both vehicles were recovered within 48 hours. A 31-year old man driving his Nissan sedan behind the Toyota and Jaguar when the incident erupted had a stray bullet literally pierced his shirt collar before lodging in his driver seat’s cushioning. He was also the individual who taped the shooting as well.

Violence in the Detroit mafia has traditionally been a last-resort measure, especially when it comes to murder. The last confirmed mob hit in the syndicate was the August 2002 slaying of aspiring thug and gangland racketeer Jerome (Jerry the Blade) Bianchette in Macomb County at a construction site. Charges were never brought in the case.

Besides the Michigan angle, according to sources, investigators in Windsor are looking into possible connections between the shooting and non-American mafia-connected European and Mexican drug networks and even maybe an involvement between the parties in the ongoing underworld conflict in the Montreal mafia, a bitter and bloody dispute raging for the past six years (though quieting lately) that has already left dozens of bodies in its wake. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) organized crime unit leaders are said to have traveled to Windsor in recent days to probe the shooting for any relation to their ever-mounting case load of unsolved “war crimes.”

Anyone with information on last Wednesday’s shooting is asked to contact Windsor Police at 519-255-6700 ext. 4211 or 4208, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 519-258-8477 (TIPS), online at www.catchcrooks.com.

Check out this great article on the shooting by a Windsor-based journalist – also WATCH the actually shooting

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2 comments

  1. Evangelo

    Was no organized crime guy was a wanna be from London Ontario and it was over drugs, stupid drug dealers.