Mafia Cocaine Ring Ran Through Beverly Hills?
A mob-connected drug trafficker was living right under our noses in Beverly Hills, helping to stash kilos of cocaine, make deals with the Sinaloa drug cartel and move millions of dollars worth of drugs for the Rizzuto organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra.
Those are the facts of the case for 39-year-old Alessandro Taloni, who today pleaded guilty in New York to federal drug-trafficking charges:
Taloni had a Mercedes-Benz, a place in Beverly Hills and a drug stash house in the L.A. area, feds said.
Agents found 49 kilos of cocaine and $1.6 million in cash when they raided those holdings. Not to mention the more than $10 million in drug proceeds seized from the narco-operation as a whole, according to a statement from prosecutors.
That's a lot of drug money.
Feds contend Taloni was not only helping to obtain and move drugs for his bosses but also helping to launder profits.
He was sent from the organization's Montreal headquarters to L.A. to purchase major quantities of coke from Mexican drug lords, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Says U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, where Taloni was prosecuted:
Taloni was a major narcotics distributor who used his connections to powerful international organized crime groups to obtain and distribute tens of millions of dollars' worth of deadly narcotics.
Here's how the convict fit into the organization, according to a U.S. Attorney's statement:
Taloni was charged with narcotics and money laundering offenses as a part of an indictment in which ten members of a Montreal-based drug distribution organization affiliated with the Rizutto and Bonanno crime families, the Hells Angels and the Sinaloa Cartel have been charged with trafficking over $1 billion worth of marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy into the United States between 1998 and 2012. The organization allegedly transported tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana from outdoor growers in British Colombia to Montreal, Canada, and controlled numerous warehouses in and around Montreal for the manufacture of ecstasy and hydroponic marijuana. The drugs were smuggled into the United States using transportation networks run by the Hells Angels and Native American co-conspirators from the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation along the U.S./Canadian border. Once the drugs were sold in the United States, much of it by distributors tied to the Bonanno crime family in New York, the organization used millions of dollars in drug proceeds to purchase more cocaine from the powerful Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico for exportation to and distribution in Canada.
Feds say Beverly Hills police helped to take Taloni down. He faces a max of 10 years behind bars when he's sentenced and will forfeit $2,663,191 in tainted cash, prosecutors said.