Raynald Desjardins
Montreal Mafia
    Raynald Desjardins, born  in  the early 1950s, is  probably  the  most influential  non-Italian  in  the  Montreal Mafia since William Obront  and Armand Courville.

     Desjardins has often  been described  as one  of  the country’s most powerful organized crime figures and is alleged to be a multi-millionaire. His sister is married to Jos Di Maulo, reputed to be one of the mob's top members, and his  brother, Jacques, has  also been  linked  to organized crime.

     Desjardins  has often  been  described  as being  the  right-hand man of Vito Rizzuto, the  reputed Godfather of the Montreal Mafia. The  two  are  neighbours in  an  exclusive  neighbourhood  of Saraguay, and were seen together taking a vacation to Milan, Italy, in 1984.
   
     On  November 10, 1973, according  to the CECO, Desjardins  and  Robert Théoret  accompanied Jos Di Maulo on  a trip to  New York City for  a  meeting with then-Montreal Mafia boss  Paolo Violi and three reputed Bonanno family members, including boss Phil “Rusty” Rastelli.

     Desjardins  was  arrested  two  times – in 1982  and 1987 – on  firearm  charges. He skated  both times.

     On November 30, 1987, the RCMP seized 16 tons of hashish. The drug, with  an estimated street value of $350 million, was seized on  an island off  Newfoundland's north-east coast. Police  arrested Desjardins, reputed Mafia kingpin Vito Rizzuto, and several others  and charged them with conspiring to traffic in narcotics.

     Supreme Court Judge Leo Barry threw out the case  against Desjardins  after authorities recorded confidential meetings between the accused and their lawyers, jeopardizing their chances at a fair trial.

     On May 25, 1993, according  to  prison filess, Desjardins  met with  Hells Angels  leader Maurice “Mom” Boucher  at  the  club’s  Montreal Chapter’s  clubhouse. Two  months  later, during  a  taped telephone conversation, Desjardins reportedly admitted to attending a Hells Angels party.

     On August 25, 1993, police  arrested  Desjardins  and 19 others  in  connection to  a joint venture between the  Montreal Mafia  and  the  Hells Angels to import over 700 kilograms of  cocaine into the country. $500,000 in cash, firearms, four boats, and several vehicles were seized by authorities.

     The cocaine, hidden in  ten drain pipes, was  brought to Canada by boat  to  Halifax, Nova Scotia. The pipes  were  accidentally dropped  into the  ocean due to  mechanical problems on  the boat. The group had  tried to recover the  pipes from the bottom of  the ocean but without  success. A  military submarine would eventually recover the cocaine months later.

     Police  allege that  Desjardins was one of  the head organizers of the drug shipment. Among those arrested with him were  Hells Angels Quebec City Chapter leaders  Richard “Bob” Hudon  and  André Imbeault, and then-Rockers member Luc “Bordel” Bordeleau.

     Desjardins was sentenced to 15 years in  prison  and fined $150,000 on  October 24, 1994. As he was being  led back to his cell, he  turned  back  and blew  a kiss to his  wife, who was sitting  in the back of the court room.

     Behind bars, Desjardins  allegedly  ruled  like  a king. He  intimidated both  guards  and  prisoners, according to prison documents, and  reportedly conspired to have  two  prisoners  murdered. His cell was  like  no  other, containing  a computer, a  bookcase, and  a  special  lamp that  belonged  to  the prison’s gymnasium.

     Desjardins was  unhappy  with  the  worn down prison’s jogging track, and called  a friend in the construction business. “I’m paying,” Desjardins told  him. The  next  day, as workers  renovated  the track, the reputed Mafia figure and several Hells Angels sat in a truck and talked with the contractor.

     Shortly after, ordered  a truckload of sea food for  a party  at the prison. Montreal police heard of the matter, and asked prison officials to turn away the truck.

     In September, 1995, Desjardins and Anthony Morello were transferred from Leclerc prison to the maximum security  Donnacona penitentiary, for  allegedly smuggling 50 grams of  the  chemical drug PCP into the prison with the intent to poison the institution’s 400 employees.

     In January, 2003, after having served nine years of his sentence, Desjardins was denied parole for the fifth time. Officials conclufrf that  he was still  associated  with  organized crime, and  during  an unsupervised release, allegedly met with reputed Mafia figure Francesco Cotroni Jr.
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