A second drug dealer has pleaded guilty after a four-year, cross-border RCMP investigation that infiltrated the “upper echelons” of traditional organized crime.
Massimigliano Carfagna – described by Tom Andreopoulos, deputy chief federal prosecutor for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, as “a loyal and trusted member of a sophisticated criminal network, with well-developed ties to the international drug trade” – pleaded guilty in a court in Milton, Ont., on Thursday to weapons, drug trafficking and drug importation conspiracy charges.
The Burlington resident was sentenced to 12 years in prison (10.5 years, after credit for 17 months of pre-trial custody).
The conviction is the second secured by the Crown under Project OTremens, a massive investigation that began in 2013. Adriano Scolieri was sentenced in January to 13 years and eight months in prison for trafficking drugs, including three kilograms of fentanyl that he sold to a police agent.
During the investigation, police seized six kilograms of fentanyl and carfentanil − drugs so potent that mere grains are enough to be lethal.
According to the agreed facts in Mr. Carfagna’s plea on Thursday, he and one of his co-accused, Giuseppe “Joey” Violi, had agreed in 2016 to import between 200 and 300 kilograms of cocaine into Canada, seeking the help of the police agent and his connections to transport the drugs into the country.
In discussions with the agent, the court heard, the pair said they could make $10,000 per kilogram. On one occasion, Mr. Carfagna and Mr. Violi – the son of slain Montreal mob boss Paolo Violi – travelled to British Columbia with the police agent to meet with an “experienced cocaine importer” who was actually an undercover police officer.
The court also heard on Thursday that at the time of Project OTremens, Halton Regional Police Service officers were conducting their own investigation into the trafficking of fentanyl − during which they observed Mr. Carfagna engaging in multiple drug transactions. In November of 2016, Halton investigators executed search warrants in a locker rented by Mr. Carfagna, where they discovered cocaine, fentanyl and guns. He was carrying $45,550 in bundles of cash when he was arrested.
Mr. Carfagna has a criminal record in the United States dating back to the 1980s in Niagara Falls, N.Y., with convictions for criminal impersonation, disorderly conduct and criminally negligent homicide.
In court on Thursday, Mr. Carfagna’s lawyer read out a letter he wrote, in which he apologized for the harm caused by his actions.