Montreal Mafia: Two Arrested in Daughter-in-Law Murder that ‘Crossed the Line’

Posted on: August 15, 2023, 04:42h. 

Last updated on: August 16, 2023, 12:51h.

Montreal police have arrested a second person in connection with the fatal shooting of Claudia Iacono.

Claudia Iacono, Montreal Mafia, Moreno Gallo, Rizzuto
Claudia Iacono pictured in 2022 in a promotional image for Salon Deauville, a beauty salon she owned in Montreal. Mafia experts say her killing may have “crossed a line” in the city’s Mafia wars. (Image: Salon Deauville)

Iacono was the daughter-in-law of the late Moreno Gallo, a figure in the Calabrian arm of the Montreal Mafia.

She was shot dead in broad daylight on May 16 this year outside the beauty salon she owned in the city’s Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood. Her husband, Anthony Gallo, is Moreno Gallo’s son.

Moreno Sr. was assassinated in 2013 in Mexico as he dined at an Italian restaurant. He fled Canada a year earlier, reportedly because he had incurred the wrath of Sicilian-born Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto.

‘Line Crossed’

Iacono’s death is one of a spate of murders and attempted murders that are believed to be linked to bad blood between Calabrian and Sicilian gangsters in Montreal.

The Iacono killing has been flagged as unusual by Mafia watchers. That’s because the perpetrators targeted a woman, and one who’s not believed to have been personally involved in organized crime.

“One thing is certain, we have just crossed a line by killing the spouse. Now, this limit will be crossed by criminal organizations,” André Gélinas, a retired sergeant from the Montreal police’s criminal intelligence unit, told CBC News. “It just sent the message that no one is untouchable anymore.”

‘Mastermind’ Arrested

Police said Monday they had arrested a 30-year-old man in Toronto who they believe is the “mastermind” behind Iacono’s killing. The individual hsn’t been named by authorities.

Joel Richard Clarke, 28, is suspected of being the triggerman. He was arrested near Toronto on June 6.

Police said Iacono was shot multiple times in her car before colliding with a building. Witnesses saw a suspect flee on foot after the attack.

Just weeks later, Francesco Del Balso, 53, once an influential leader in the Rizzuto crime family and controller of the syndicate’s illegal gambling activities, was shot dead in broad daylight.

Del Balso was believed to be involved in the attempted assassination in March of Leonardo Rizzuto, the son of Vito Rizzuto.

Mafia War

The Rizzuto crime family is sometimes known in Canada as the Sixth Family after the Five Families in New York. The syndicate is closely linked to the Bonanno crime family, so much so that the FBI has asserted that they are one and the same.

The syndicate was founded by Vito’s father, Nicolo Rizzuto, a Sicilian. In the late 1970s, he began to challenge the prominent Calabrian, ‘Ndrangheta-affiliated Cotroni family.

Cotroni patriarch, Frank Cotroni, died of natural causes in 2004, paving the way for the Rizzuto faction to become the most powerful crime family in Canada. Calabria’s ‘Ndrangheta have since become the most powerful Italian organized crime group globally, and authorities fear the deadly power struggle persists in Montreal.