| Michel Corrado Celestino Pozza was born in the northern Italian city of Trento and immigrated to Canada at a young age. University educated and gifted with a superior intelligence, Pozza wasn't an average mobster. Luigi Greco, the Montreal Underboss, saw Pozza potential and took him under his wing. By the 1960s, he was considered to be Greco's right-hand man. One of the organization's chief money launderers, he moved about freely between the family's Calabrian and Sicilian wings.
When Paolo Violi married Grazia Luppino in Hamilton on July 10, 1965, Pozza accompanied Luigi Greco to the ceremony. Also making the journey from Montreal was Vic Cotroni, who scted as Violi's best man, and Jos Di Maulo.
In 1973, police officials affirmed to the Commission d'enquete sur le crime organisé (CECO) that Pozza was in fact an important and influential member of the Calabrian faction of the Montreal Mafia.
Through Salvatore Catalano of the Bonanno Family, Pozza first met with Vito Ciancimino, the former Mayor of Palermo, in 1979. The meeting took place in Mondello, near Palermo. The two, allegedly, met to discuss drug trafficking.
In the late 1970s, as the Sicilian and Calabrian factions of the Montreal
|Mafia battled for control, Pozza was seen more and more around the Rizzutos and less around the Cotronis.
In November 1980, Pozza, Vito and Nick Rizzuto, and Joe Lopresti were among the guests at the wedding of Sicilian mob boss Giuseppe Bono at the Hotel Pierre in New York. Bono, at the time, was the leader of the Bolognetta Family in Milan.
Pozza was called to a meeting with Vic Cotroni in the early 1980s to explain his relationship with the Sicilian faction. But the gathering proved unproductive and, as they left, Frank Cotroni turned to Réal Simard, who later turned informant, and explained that "something has to be done about him."
In 1982, as Pozza worked as the Treasurer for the C&C Credit company on Papineau avenue, the CECO began to investigate organized crime ties in the garment industry. Because of his relationship with the International Ladies Garmennt Workers Union, was among those set to be called to testify.
But Pozza never had to go before the Commission. On the night of September 17, 1982, he met Réal Simard for a drink. The next morning, as the two talked in front of Pozza's Mont-Rolland home, Simard produced a .22-calibre pistol and shot the money launderer several times, including twice in the head. He was 57 years old.
Pozza had been kept under police surveillance but the watch had been called off that night because of a shortage of manpower. Inside his home, police found phone numbers and addresses in Palermo and a cheque worth $5 million with the signature of Vito Caincimino, one of Sicily's most famous politicians. The money, according to police, was the proceeds of narcotics trafficking.