May 09, 2014
Contact: Public Information Officer
MAY 09 (BROOKLYN, N.Y.) —Earlier today, at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, Alessandro Taloni, an alleged associate of the Montreal-based Rizzuto organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. In May 2013, Taloni pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking charges contained in a superseding indictment returned on April 3, 2013. As part of his sentence, Taloni will also forfeit $2,663,191 that federal agents seized from multiple locations in California that Taloni used to store narcotics and drug proceeds.
The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James J. Hunt, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York (DEA).
“Taloni used his connections to powerful international organized crime groups to distribute deadly narcotics, worth tens of millions of dollars, across North America. His prosecution and sentence demonstrate this Office’s unrelenting commitment to swiftly pursuing and prosecuting transnational organized crime beyond state and national borders,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Anaheim Police Department, and the Beverly Hills Police Department for their work on the case. Ms. Lynch also expressed her appreciation to the Laval Police Service for their invaluable assistance during this multi-year international investigation.
DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Hunt stated, “This sentencing is the end result of international, federal, local and state law enforcement’s collaboration. Law enforcement’s effort to thwart organized crime led to identifying Taloni and his associates’ international drug network that facilitated the Sinaloa Cartel’s cocaine distribution network in the United States.”
Taloni and ten members of a Montreal-based drug distribution organization affiliated with the Rizzuto and Bonanno crime families, the Hells Angels, and the Sinaloa Cartel were charged with narcotics and money laundering offenses in connection with trafficking over $1 billion worth of marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy into the United States between 1998 and 2012. The organization transported tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana from outdoor growers in British Colombia to Montreal, Canada, and controlled numerous warehouses in and around Montreal for the manufacture of ecstasy and hydroponic marijuana. The drugs were smuggled into the United States using transportation networks run by the Hells Angels and Native American co-conspirators from the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation along the U.S./Canadian border. Once the drugs were sold in the United States, much of it by distributors tied to the Bonanno crime family in New York, the organization used millions of dollars in drug proceeds to purchase more cocaine from the powerful Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico for exportation to and distribution in Canada. Taloni was personally sent from Montreal to Los Angeles, California, to receive those drug proceeds and to purchase cocaine from the Mexican sources and export cocaine to Canada.
During the course of the government’s investigation, federal agents seized approximately $1 million in drug proceeds and 49 kilograms of cocaine from searches of Taloni’s Mercedes Benz sedan, Beverly Hills residence, and a stash house operated by Taloni in Beverly Hills. Search warrants executed at other stash houses operated by the organization in the Los Angeles area resulted in the seizure of an additional 34 kilograms of cocaine and approximately $1,600,000. In total agents seized more than $10 million in narcotics proceeds from the organization.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Steven L. Tiscione, Gina M. Parlovecchio, Amir H. Toossi, and Tanisha Payne.