Montreal Irish mob boss Allen (The Weasel) Ross died behind bars last week in an American prison in North Carolina. He was 74 years old and had been locked up since the early 1990s. Court records reveal he battled colon cancer and diabetes.

Ross led Montreal’s West End Gang from 1984 until he was incarcerated in 1992 for narcotics trafficking and a murder conspiracy. His case was out of Florida, where he had hooked up with a Colombian crew of wholesale cocaine dealers to transport kilos of blow into Canada using Nashville, Tennessee as a mid-point way station. The Colombians were part of the Cali Cartel.

After the murder of West End Gang leader Frank (Dunny) Ryan in November 1984, Ross assumed control of the organization known as Quebec’s Irish mafia. In the days following Dunn’s killing over a drug debt owed to him by West End Gang underling, Paul April, Ross allegedly had April and three accomplices slain, blown up by a bomb placed in a VCR.

Another of April’s accomplices, Eddie Phillips, was gunned down weeks later. Ross then is reputed to have had the man who killed Phillips, David Singer, murdered for the belief he was cooperating with authorities. While Ross was found not guilty for first-degree murder in Singer’s slaying, he was convicted of conspiracy.

Ross’ attorney, Sidney Leithman, was shot to death in the months preceding his 1992 trial (Leithman acted as a mouthpiece for the Italian mob’s Cotroni crime family in Montreal as well). There were rumors floating around that Leithman had been acting as a middle man for Ross’ illicit dealings with Claude Savoi, the head of a Montreal police drug unit. Savoi committed suicide in the months after Ross was found guilty at a six-week jury trial in Florida, hours prior to being questioned by internal affairs personnel in the Royal Mounted Canadian Police force and a television news-magazine segment airing delving into the allegations against him.

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