The Montreal mafia was dealing directly with the world’s biggest drug boss, Mexican crime mogul Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman, during the height of Guzman’s monolithic reign atop the global narcotics game. Rizzuto crime family drug lieutenant Antonio (Tony Suzuki) Pietrantonio had his name surface in testimony at Guzman’s highly-publicized federal trial in New York this past week, being described by a former Guzman confidant as the Sinaloa Cartel’s go-to customer in Canada.

A super villain of sorts, federal authorities dub El Chapo, 61, the most dangerous, feared and ruthless crime lord on the planet. The case he’s facing claims he’s littered American streets with an estimated 500 tons of cocaine. His Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for thousands of deaths in turf battles and blood feuds.

Alex Cifuentes was El Chapo’s right-hand man between 2007 and 2013. Spawning from a Colombian doper pedigree, Cifuentes handled logistics for Sinaloa Cartel distribution hubs in New York and Canada. Cifuentes testified back on Monday that he supplied “Tony Suzuki from Canada” with cocaine, heroin and crystal meth “in bulk” and discussed with him carving out new smuggling routes for their respective crime syndicates using Lake Champlain.

The 58-year old Pietrantonio survived an assassination attempt when he was shot outside a suburban Montreal restaurant in December 2011 in an attack linked to a vicious power struggle within the Quebec crime family. He’s long been aligned with French-Canadian mob figure Raynald Desjardins, who led a revolt in the Rizzuto clan in the late 2000s with don Vito Rizzuto out of the country serving a prison sentence in the United States.

Despite not being Italian, Desjardins, currently imprisoned himself on murder charges tied to the still-raging conflict, had risen to become Rizzuto’s second-in-command. Desjardins joined forces with deported New York mafia boss Salvatore (Sal the Ironworker) Montagna to oppose Rizzuto’s leadership in 2009. The ensuing war has resulted in more than 100 gangland slayings and an endless tear of shootings, drive-bys and fire bombings over the past decade.

Pietrantonio and Desjardins were nailed together in 1993 in a cocaine-trafficking case and both did time behind bars from the bus. The year before that Pietrantonio had taken a weapons pinch. Tony Suzuki got his nickname for his ownership of a Suzuki automobile dealership on the Eastside of Montreal. He’s heavily involved in the construction industry in Quebec.

Sources say Pietrantonio is a slick, well-liked wiseguy known for his political proficiency in gangland circles, an ability to effortlessly move between various street factions and someone often asked to mediate disputes on behalf of Rizzuto organization administrators. While he’s been investigated in more than one drug conspiracy since he was released from prison in 1998, he’s steered clear of any indictments.

The shooting that put Pietrantonio in the intensive care unit of the hospital during the Christmas holidays eight years ago was part of an uptick in violence in the Montreal mob war in the last few months of 2011. Desjardins was attacked by a jet-ski driving, Uzi-carrying assassin in September, signaling the conclusion of the Desjardins-Montagna alliance. Larry LoPresti, Tony Suzuki’s right-hand man, was slain in October. Sal Montagna met his end in November.

Desjardins eventually pleaded guilty to heading the conspiracy to murder Montagna. Vito Rizzuto came out of prison in 2012, sought and found retribution for the Desjardins-led insurgence and the killings of his father, son and brother-in-law and then died, supposedly of natural causes (said to be an aggressive form of lung cancer) in late 2013. Rizzuto’s passing didn’t halt tensions though and the war has more recently expanded into Ontario.

Leave a Reply