| Luigi Greco, along with his family, immigrated to Canada at a young age and settled in the port city of Montreal.The Sicilian-born refused the new society's laws and regulations and turned to crime to make a living. He became involved in everything from auto theft to bank robbery and served a thirteen year prison sentence for armed robbery.
Harry Davis, the biggest drug trafficker in the city at the time, saw the potentional Greco had and hired him as a bodyguard. He moved up quickly to become one of the trafficker's top men and when Davis was murdered in 1946, the Sicilian took over many of his rackets. He then hooked up with the Cotroni organization and soon ran the entire west side of the city for the group.
Greco and his partner, Frank Petrula, traveled to Italy in 1951 to meet Charles "Lucky" Luciano and then to New York City to visit Frank Costello, known as the "Prime Minister of La Cosa Nostra". The Montrealers wanted to make the port city the heroin smuggling centre of North America.
The Sicilian's position in the Montreal underworld rose again and, by the time Bonanno Family underboss Carmine "Lilo" Galante arrived, Greco was the number two man in the organization. Only the Calabrian-born Vic "The Egg" Cotroni held more sway.
The underboss ran his empire from his pizzeria, where he still performed much of the day-to-day chores. He was highly active in gambling, loansharking, extortion, and drug trafficking and had an entourage of impressive criminal talent, including future Hamilton mafia boss "Johnny Pops" Papalia. He was a major financial backer of Giuseppe "Pep" Cotroni's lucrative drug network and was also a partner in the Alpha Investment Corporation with Vic Cotroni, Carmine Galante, Frank Petrula Max Shapiro, and Harry Ship.
Luigi Greco and lieutenant Giuseppe Cotroni attended the Apalachin Mafia meeting on November 14, 1957, representing Montreal's interests. They were among the fortunate to avoid embarassment when police raided the conference. 60 mobsters were arrested however, leading to an unprecedented amount of police pressure on American crime families.
In March 1972, Greco suffered a wavering $200,000 lost when British Customs officials seized 3,395 pounds of hashish at the Manchester port. Police in Montreal and Lebanon followed the seizure with twelve arrests. But Greco, who had financed the shipment, remained unscathed.
Luigi Greco was killed in a horrific accident on December 7, 1972. As he and some workers were busily replacing the floor of his pizzeria a solvent caught fire and he was fatally burned. The funeral attracted an impressive gathering of underworld figures who rushed to pay their respects to one of the last oldtime mafioso.