Organized crime: this ex-strongman of the Rizzuto clan finds himself in trouble

Organized crime: This ex-Rizzuto clan strongman finds himself in trouble

and Félix Séguin MISE À DAY

The fiery Laval mafioso Francesco Del Balso, suspected of having plotted the assassination attempt of which Leonardo Rizzuto was the victim in mid-March, has known for a week that a price has been put on his head for having dared to attack the son of the deceased godfather of the mafia.

Hounded from all sides, the former strongman of the Rizzuto clan has been hiding as a fugitive since the police have prevented from fleeing Canada urgently by arresting him at Trudeau airport on March 23, according to information from our Bureau of Investigation.

Del Balso, a specialist in extortion and illegal sports betting, had been advised by relatives of the underworld that his life was in danger and that he had better get out of the way as soon as possible.

Francesco Del Balso < p>However, the mafioso known for his impulsive and hot-tempered temperament was already under police surveillance, since the authorities considered him a suspect in the attempted murder perpetrated on lawyer Rizzuto, when he was trying to board a flight in the direction of of Europe.

The police therefore arrested him and confiscated his passport to prevent Del Balso from managing to escape.


According to our sources, the presumed motive behind this settling of scores is a response to the attempted murder of which Del Balso himself was the victim, on November 7, also in Laval.

At least six shots were fired at the Lexus SUV he was in, but he escaped unscathed.

However, law enforcement would have no evidence or clue that would lead them to believe that Leonardo Rizzuto could have authorized or ordered the armed attack against Del Balso.

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The police continue to keep an eye on the latter despite his movements.


Del Balso was not at his home in Laval when the police carried out one of the eight searches carried out there simultaneously on Wednesday by the Sûreté du Québec, which is seeking to elucidate the crime committed at the expense of Leonardo Rizzuto and by the Squad National Organization of Repression against Organized Crime (ENRCO), which is carrying out a drug investigation targeting three influential members of the Hells Angels. 

As one would expect, the shooting in which the son of the deceased godfather Vito Rizzuto survived even though several firearm projectiles hit him on March 15, causing quite a stir in the highest circles of organized crime, both on the side of the Italian mafia and that of the Hells bikers Angels.

Several meetings have been organized, within the two groups, but also between Hells Angels and members of the Rizzuto clan, since Del Balso is now considered by the police to be closer to bikers than to the mafia, learned our Bureau of Investigation.

Our sources, as well as police documents, say that Del Balso is even closely linked to the most influential Quebec member of the Hells, Martin Robert, and to the unofficial number 2 of the gang, Stéphane Plouffe.

The Hells Robert and Plouffe are also among the business “associates” of the Rizzuto clan, according to a report by the Criminal Intelligence Service of Quebec produced in 2021.

Coincidence or not, Robert and Plouffe were also targeted by the series of searches carried out on Wednesday in the ENRCO anti-drug investigation.

According to our information, this ENRCO investigation targeting the Hells as well as the search targeting Del Balso relating to the shooting against Leonardo Rizzuto are however two separate files. This suggests that the bikers would therefore not be involved in the Rizzuto affair. 

– With the collaboration of Maxime Deland, Agence QMI

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