Montreal mobster Jonathan (Jonny the Kid) Mignacca was granted a full parole last week from a stint in prison for reckless discharge of a firearm. The 34-year old Mignacca, once the driver and bodyguard for renegade Canadian mafia leader Raynald Desjardins, served three and a half years behind bars before being sent to a halfway house back in October. He was sentenced in 2015 to seven years in prison following a plea deal and wound up only doing half of that time because of his exemplary behavior as a prisoner.

Mignacca’s case stems from a shootout on the morning of September 16, 2011 in the Montreal suburb of Laval when he and Desjardins were ambushed by a lone gunman as they sat parked in their cars talking near a wooded embankment bordering a lake just off Highway 25. Desjardins sped off in his BMW and Mignacca fearlessly exited his SUV and began exchanging fire with the assailant, who was never apprehended and authorities believe arrived and escaped aquatically via a jet ski with Mignacca shooting at him with his Glock from the shoreline.

Mignacca was wounded in the shootout and subsequently arrested. One bullet from the exchange struck a city bus, another lodged in a light post next to a stop sign.

The cagey French-Canadian Desjardins joined forces with deported New York mob don Salvatore (Sal the Ironworker) Montagna in the late 2000s to challenge the Rizzuto crime family’s mafia dynasty in Montreal, an organization in a weakened state due to the fact that Godfather Vito Rizzuto was tucked helplessly away in a United States federal penitentiary. Desjardins had been Rizzuto’s right-hand man. Rizzuto was finishing up a prison term for his role in a famous 1981 gangland triple murder in New York, known as the “Three Capos Hit” and depicted on the big screen in the 1997 Al Pacino-Johnny Depp movie Donnie Brasco.

The ensuing unrest has yet to cease despite being most of the principe figures in the early stages of the feud being either dead or incarcerated. Authorities estimate a body count well into the triple digits by now. Five bodies have dropped since January alone.

The Canadian underworld has been ablaze in war going on a decade, a conflict starting in Montreal and soon spreading to Toronto and then Hamilton. Rizzuto died of a bout with cancer in 2013, having been free for a year and begun a systematic killing of those he felt had betrayed him. Desjardins and Montagna allegedly had no issue targeting Rizzuto’s relatives, picking off his son, father and brother-in-law, before having an explosive falling out and going to war with each other in an offshoot battle.

Desjardins, 65, is currently in prison for ordering and planning Montagna’s execution two months after the September 2011 attempt on his and Mignacca’s lives in Laval, an attack Montagna engineered. Evidence in the case against Desjardins – acquired through text and Blackberry communications – showed Mignacca played a minor role in Montagna’s murder conspiracy, aiding Desjardins in last-minute details and preparations for the November 2011 slaying and heading surveillance and counter surveillance ops for his boss in the weeks surrounding the high-profile hit and his eventual arrest for the Montagna homicide a month later.

The television series Bad Blood stars Kim Coates of Sons of Anarchy fame as a fictionalized version of Desjardins called Declan Gardiner. The show features Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) as Vito Rizzuto and Goodfellas alum Paul Sorvino as slain Rizzuto crime family patriarch Nicolo (Uncle Nick) Rizzuto and can be streamed on Netflix.

The September 2016 shooting involving Mignacca and Desjardins is dramatized in a scene during Season 2 of Bad Blood but in the dramatization it’s the Desjardins character Declan Gardiner that shoots back at the assailant. Mignacca isn’t portrayed in the series and the person with Gardiner in the scene depicting the attack is a composite “consigliere” character named Bruno played by Enrico Colantoni (Just Shoot Me, Veronica Mars).

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