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Vaughan cafe shootings: extension of Russo’s shooting

The recent shooting at a Vaughan cafe was connected to organized crime and illegal gambling and is most likely connected to the shooting of innocent bystander Louise Russo.

Vaughan-Cafe1The implications are scary..

  • An illegal gaming operation was being run out of the back of the Vaughan café where two people were fatally shot and two others were injured two weeks ago, police say.
  • It’s still unclear whether the gambling operation was linked to the murders of Maria Voci, 47, a Vaughan mother-of-three and Christopher DeSimone, 24, of Vaughan, according to police.
  • The two others who were shot at 8:18 a.m. on June 24 at the café in a strip mall at Islington Ave. and Highway 7 have been released from hospital, police said on Wednesday.
  • One of the injured men was Rocco Di Paola, a candidate in last fall’s mayoral election in Toronto.
  • Police earlier said this was a targeted attack.
  • Gaming tables, boxes of playing cards and gaming machines were discovered in the back of the small café, Const. Laura Nicolle of York Regional Police said.
  • No money was seized in the back area and police didn’t have an estimate of the dollar amount of the gaming activity taking place, Nicolle said.
  • The lone suspect in the shooting was captured on security video on the day of the shooting and the day before the attack.
  • The stolen black Nissan Versa that he drove both days has been since recovered.
  • The café was previously known as the Doppio Espresso Bar and sits between a Pizza Pizza and a convenience store.
  • Police have described the suspect as male, black, about 6-feet tall, and muscular. He is considered armed and dangerous.
  • It’s the latest crime in a series that may be connected to illegal gambling in York Region.
  • In February 2013, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit busted a Super Bowl party at a Markham banquet hall and scooped up $2.5-million in cash.
  • Police said the operation was run by a company called Platinum SB, which was run through an offshore web server.
  • Among those charged was London, Ont. Hells Angel Billy Miller.
  • Innocent bystander Louise Russo was paralyzed in 2004 when she was caught by a stray bullet at the California Sandwich Shop in Downsview, as mobsters and a Hells Angel attempted to punish a mobster who owed gambling debts.
  • The intended target, Michele Modica, lived in the GTA under the names of “Carlo Martoni” and “Antonio Reta.”
  • He was arrested in July 2008 near Palermo, Sicily and charged with plotting an underworld murder.

Sources / More info: tts-vaughan

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