Emanuele Ragusa
Montreal Mafia
    Emanuele Ragusa, born  in or  around 1940, has  been  described by authorities as being one of  the most influential mobsters in the  country and  a top lieutenant of  reputed Montreal Mafia Godfather Vito Rizzuto. Before  that, he  was  supposedly  close  to  Paolo  Violi, until  the  mob boss was gunned down in 1978. He  also  allegedly has contacts among leaders of the Caruana/Cuntrera international crime family.

     One of  Ragusa’s  daughters is married to Vito Rizzuto’s eldest son, Nicolo, while his other daughter supposedly wed  reputed mobster Luigi Vella.

     Ragusa, a former New York resident, is described in National Parole Board documents  as  the Montreal Mafia’s “banker” and being involved in  money  laundering  and  drug  importation. The documents  add that Ragusa is  not  suspected of  involvement  in  any of  the organization’s violent activities.

     A 1995
La Presse article  listed  Pierino  and Michael Divito, father and son, as being members of the Ragusa crew. Authorities  have  claimed the elder  Divito is one of  the  Montreal  mob’s top drug traffickers.

     In  the  early 1980s, the  Italian  government  charged  Ragusa with drug trafficking but, for some reason, the reputed mobster was never extradited.

     Ragusa was among the 57 underworld figures  arrested on  August 30, 1994, the result of  a  four year RCMP undercover sting. The Mounties established  a phoney money-change house at the corner of  Peel street in 1990  and successfully lured in some of  Montreal's top criminals. Police  say  about $100 million was laundered  through the  establishment  and seized 558 kilos of  cocaine. Ragusa was charged with money laundering and drug trafficking. Others arrested were Sabatino “Sam” Nicolucci, Valentino Morielli, and  Vincenzo “Jimmy” Di Maulo. In 1996, Ragusa was  sentenced to 12 years for conspiracy to import drugs and money laundering.

     That same year, according to  a news report, Ragusa was named in  another drug affair, the result of  joint  operation  between  Canadian  and  American  authorities. A dozen  people were  accused of plotting  to import 543 kilograms of  cocaine. Police seized 75 kilos of  cocaine  were  seized in  New York.

     By May 1998, after serving two years of his sentence, Ragusa was living in  a halfway house  and working  at the 
Mission Bon Accueil on Saint-Antoine Street, preparing meals for the  homeless. One day, he spotted two steaks  and stole them. It had made so long since he had eaten steak, he later told the  parole  board, that  when saw  the  steaks in the kitchen, he couldn’t resist. Ragusa’s  conditional liberation was soon revoked.

     Ragusa would have made parole in February 2003 had he not been in a lie. Despite a condition that he  not  associate  with  other  organized crime figures, Ragusa attended his son’s wedding, where he knew there would be dozens in attendance. Officials turned down his request for parole.

     At the hearing, according  to  an
Ottawa Citizen article, the  reputed  mobster voiced  his intent to “retire” from  the  underworld  and  run  a corner store. A prison  psychologist  backed up  the claim, concluding that Ragusa did indeed wish to stop his involvement with the Montreal Mafia.