| Nick Cotroni, the only son of notorious Montreal Mafia kingpin Vic “The Egg” Cotroni, was born on April 25, 1964. Like Vic’s younger brother Frank, Nick was named after his grandfather, who brought his family to Canada from Italy in 1924.
Nick and his mother Ghyslaine Turgeon, Vic Cotroni's mistress, grew up in Miami, Florida, far away from the streets where his family watched over a vast criminal empire. But that didn’t stop him from getting into trouble.
In July, 1983, he was one of dozens of people, including more than 20 Canadians, arrested on charges of running a $50-million-a-year drug ring in Florida. Also arrested in the bust was notorious crime figure William Obront, often referred to as the Canadian Meyer Lansky.
The operation, conduction jointly in the RCMP, DEA, and FBI, claimed that the gang was responsible for trafficking 70 per cent of the Quaalude market in the United States and smuggled cocaine into Canada.
The following year, Vic Cotroni died of cancer. A spectacular funeral service was held in his honour that featured floral arrangements on 23 cars and a 17 brass band.
Nick Cotroni eventually settled in Montreal, where he reportedly frequented his uncle, alleged mob boss Frank Cotroni, as well as Frank’s sons.
The mid-1990s were a period of heartache for Cotroni. First his wife passed away, and then in 1997 his 5-year-old daughter was killed by a car after she had wandered into a Saint Leonard street.
The following decade wasn’t much better for Cotroni either. On June 1, 2000, he was arrested on charges of extortion. Police alleged that Cotroni and an associate had tried to extort $100,000 from a nut importer. Cotroni did not resist when he was arrested at a north-end Montreal bar.
As he was arraigned on the charges, Cotroni, who was said to weigh about 400 pounds, asked the judge for special medical treatment while in jail. Cotroni explained to the judge that he needed a special respirator for 14 hours a day to help him breath. In response, the judge explained that it would be best to place the accused in a jail infirmary.
The charges against Cotroni were dropped in February 2001 after the alleged victim of the plot took the witness stand dismissed the idea that the accused had tried to extort money from him. The businessman told the court that no threats or violence had taken place during two visits to his establishment by Cotroni and another man.
Cotroni died of natural causes in December of that same year. The funeral service, which was said to consist of a small gathering of family and friends, was held quietly in Montreal away from prying eyes.