|Valentino "Val" Morielli|
| Valentino Morielli was born in the mid 1940s. He was a childhood friend and schoolmate of Vito Rizzuto. The two would remain close into adulthood and, as Rizzuto rose through the ranks of the Montreal Mafia, so did Morielli.
Police arrested Morielli and four underlings - Giachino Delladonne, Pietro Raschella, Thomas Martel, and Eugene Saint-Jacques - in 1977 and charged them with drug trafficking. The arrests came after the seizure of 100 pounds of hashish at the Dorval airport, where Raschella and Saint-Jacques worked as baggage handlers. Morielli was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison, the minimum possible sentence for drug trafficking at the time. He served about three years and was released in 1980.
La Presse, a French Canadian newspaper in Montreal, reported that
|upon the 1992 murder of mobster Joe Lopresti, Morielli became Vito Rizzuto's new right-hand man.
Morielli was among 57 organized crime figures arrested on August 30, 1994, the result of a four year RCMP undercover operation. The mounties seized 558 kilograms of cocaine and gathered evidence about $100 million the mobsters had laundered. Morielli was charged with six counts of trafficking cocaine and hashish and money laundering.
Morielli's trial date was set for September 5, 1995 and he was released on bail. He, along with Jos Di Maulo, Ricardo Di Massimo, Fernando De Francesco, and Micheline Kemp-Di Maulo, were arrested on August 17, 1995 and charged with offering an RCMP officer $100,000 to destroy evidence against Montreal Mafia lieutenant Vincenzo "Jimmy" Di Maulo, who had been charged in the 1994 RCMP sting. Morielli and Jos Di Maulo were released the next day due to lack of evidence.
Morielli's trial started the first week of September, 1995. Two of his associates, Pierre Prénoveau and Jean-Guy Bouchard, were also defendants in the case. The mobsters, prosecutor Claude Bélanger told the jury, conspired between July, 1992, and December, 1993, to import a 2500 kilogram load of cocaine and a 25 ton shipment of hashish. The drugs were supposed to be brought to Florida in a fishing boat, where they would then be smuggled into Canada.
The Godfather of the Montreal Mafia, Vito Rizzuto, and Herb Kemp, Vincenzo Di Maulo's brother-in-law, were called to testify at the trial. Rizzuto, who supposedly met with Morielli at a key moment of the plot to import the shipment of cocaine, described Morielli as a "friend and golf partner."
On December 5, 1996, after seven days of deliberation, the jury brought in their verdict. Morielli was found guilty of conspiring to import 2500 kilos of cocaine but acquitted of planning to import 25 tons of hashish. His co-defendants, Prénoveau and Bouchard, were acquitted. Prénoveau, a long time Morielli underling and reputed to be highly active in drug trafficking and loansharking, would murder his wife and then commit suicide a few years later.
Judge Fraser Martin sentenced Morielli to ten years in prison on January 31, 1997. Many thought that the sentence was too lenient, considering it was the mobster's third drug trafficking conviction. Morielli's lawyer, Gilles Daudelin, explained to reporters that he was satisfied with the Judge Martin's decision.
In February, 2000, Morielli told a parole board that, after living off the profits of crime for over 30 years, he was going to go legit. His son was still young and he wanted to take care of him. The board was not convinced though and refused to grant him his parole.
While in prison, Morielli was given permission to visit his son. He worked as a cook in a shelter for the handicap during the day and returned to then returned to prison at night.
Morielli was released to a transition house in the first week of 2001. Some of his restrictions included staying away from Mafia hangouts, as well as not being in contact with suspected organized crime figures.