|Joseph "Little Joe" Horvath|
| The youngest child in a family of Hungarian immigrants, Joseph Horvath was born in 1930. He grew up in Montreal's dangerous red light district, surrounded by the city's criminal element. He became involved in illegal activities as a teenager, working for some of the biggest names in Montreal's underworld, and would become known as "Little Joe" and "Joe Valentine".
His first major conflict with the law came in 1949 when Horvath
was arrested following a violent robbery. He escaped before his trail and, when he was finally captured, received a five year sentence.
Upon his release, Horvath became associated with the Montreal Mafia through lieutenant Nicola "Cola" Di Iorio. He was employed at Di Iorio's Victoria Sporting Club, the organization's most profitable gambling den. He was also a burglary specialist and, later on, moved
|into drug trafficking supplying heroin to the Palmer brothers gang in Vancouver. He moved to the north-west suburb of Pierrefonds and claimed to make a living as a bricklayer.
The Narcotics Squad tracked Horvath as he travelled throughout Europe in July 1969. He was seen meeting with people in London, Barcelona, Rome, and Munich and returned to Montreal on August 5. A week later, he had an important meeting with the organization's head, Vic "The Egg" Cotroni, most likely to discuss the details of his trip.
On March 25, 1970, police listened in on a telephone conversation between "Little Joe" and fellow mobster Frank Dasti. Although they used codes, it was obvious the two were discussing drug shipments. Over the next few months, the Narcotics Squad recorded dozens of such phone conversations about drugs and meetings.
Because of increased police attention, Horvath withdrew from trafficking heroin and cocaine and became highly involved in importating of hundreds of kilograms of hashish. The drug was brought over from Afganistan and then distributed to members of the Satan's Choice biker gang.
The RCMP exposed Horvath's hashish network on May 11, 1972. He and six underlings were arrested and charged with conspiring to import hashish. They were all arraigned in Criminal Court the same day and released on $5,000 bail each.
While out on bail, Horvath resumed his heroin trafficking activities with the organization. He was arrested again on March 1, 1974 after a federal grand jury in Milwaukee, Wisconsin indicted him for conspiring to traffic in narcotics.
Joe Horvath died of throat cancer in Saint-Luc Hospital on April 10, 1974. He remained loyal to his associates until the end, planning to take upon himself the entire blame for the Milwaukee charges. He passed away before he could do that. He was 45 years old.