|Francesco Cotroni Jr|
| Francesco Jr., the fourth of Frank Cotroni's six children, was born in 1960. Along with his brothers Nicodemo, Paolo, Michael, and Jimmy, he followed in his father's legendary footsteps and became involved in a life of crime.
In April 1981, an argument erupted between Francesco and Giuseppe Montegano, a small-time drug trafficker, over a cocaine transaction. The two argued at the Agrigento social club, a bar owned by Francesco, over the drug's quality. Frank Cotroni Sr. heard of the incident and dispatched hitman Réal Simard to investigate the conflict.
Simard met with both men to hear their sides of the story. Francesco
|explained that the drug that he had bought from Montegano was of poor quality. Montegano claimed that the young Cotroni had returned the cocaine, claiming it wasn't good, but had cut it first. Simard relayed the information to Frank Sr. and the Calabrian handed down his decision. Montegano had to be eliminated.
Montegano was invited to Francesco's bar on June 14, 1981 under the pretext that he would be paid the drug money owed him. Réal Simard, Francesco Rao, and Daniel Arena concocted a plot to abduct him and kill him elsewhere but Montegano became suspicious and a struggle ensued. Simard produced a fun and shot him twice in the head.
Réal Simard was arrested in Toronto for the murder of Mario Héroux and the attempted murder of Robert Hétu on November 30, 1983. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He chose to become an informant instead and provided police with devastating evidence against Frank Cotroni and his underlings, including details on the Montegano murder.
Early October 10, 1986, police put operation "Si-Co", for Simard-Cotroni, into action and raided several homes and arrested multiple suspects. Francesco was apprehended at his home in Anjou. His father Frank and mobsters Daniel Arena and Francesco Raso are also nabbed. All were charged with the first-degree murder of Giuseppe Montegano.
Francesco was freed on $100,000 bail under the conditions that he live with his sister Rosina and maintain his employment at Ital-Video Poker on Jean-Talon street. Their trial was set for January 5, 1988 but the defendants shocked everyone by pleading guilty to manslaughter charges a month before it was to begin. The judge allowed Francesco to spend the Christmas holidays with his family before sentencing him three years on January 15, 1988. Frank Sr received eight years, Raso got five years, and Arena was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Francesco married Milena Di Maulo, the daughter of high-ranking mobster Jos Di Maulo, in the summer of 1991. The event was held at the Marie-Riene-du-Monde cathedral in downtown Montreal and was attended by some of the top members of the Mafia, West End Gang, and the Dubois Clan. The couple would have two children together but their marriage would unfortunately end in divorce in late 2000.
Since his release from prison, Francesco was in charge of his father's drug network. He travelled to Columbia in February, 1995 and met with Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, the heads of the Cali Cartel. They met at Miguel's posh home and discussed setting up a major cocaine pipeline from Columbia to Canada. Francesco was also seen meeting major drug traffickers at the Villa Sorrento hotel in Mexico, which is co-owned by his father. He would run the network until Frank Sr. was released from jail on September 28, 1995.
The shit hit the fan on April 17, 1996. Francesco and his father were among 24 arrested in a joint RCMP-MUC operation against members of
|the Montreal Mafia and the Serero Gang. The Cotronis had allied themselves with Daniel Serero, known as "The Arab" in Montreal's underworld, to import large shipments of drugs. 170 kilos of cocaine was seized in the bust. When Francesco was picked up, police found a bomb making manual in his home.
Francesco's lawyer Martin Tremblay attempted to convince the jury that his client had played a secondary role in the drug importation network. They didn't buy it and sentenced him to eight years in prison. His father received a seven year sentence.
In March 2000, Francesco was moved to a transition house because of his good behavior behind bars. A few months later, in late, he went up for parole. He told officials that his "father has always done everything so that my brothers, my sister, and I go straight", He also denied being a part of a criminal organization: "I am not part of any clan. I know alot of people, including Vito Rizzuto, but I am not part of any gang". His parole was denied.
Seven months later, in October, Francesco's parole came through. His father was paroled shortly after. Both father and son are now back on the streets.