Agostino Cuntrera (1944- June 29, 2010) was a leading member of the Rizzuto crime family and belonged to a long bloodline of Mafia members.
Cuntrera-Caruana Family Edit
Agostino Cuntrera was born in Siculiana, Sicily, in 1944. His father, grandfather, uncles and cousins were all members of the Mafia and had a leading position in the community around Siculiana. His family was intermarried with several other families from which the most prominent is the Caruana family. They formed one of the most profitable drug networks the world had ever seen and were closely associated with men such as Gaetano Badalamenti, Nicola Gentile and Michele Greco.
Over the years several of the family members moved away from Sicily to countries accross the world. A couple of the Cuntrera brothers moved to Canada and Venezuela. They however remained very present in the drug trafficking business and stretched their networks throughout South and North America, across the Ocean to Sicily, Spain and other European countries. Some of Agostino's cousins living in Caracas, Venezuela, were Gaspare, Pasquale and Paolo Cuntrera. They often welcomed mobsters who were running from the law to Venezuela to hideout. They also used Aruba to launder money and stash drugs.
The Seigneur of Saint-Leonard Edit
Cuntrera moved to Canada in 1964 were he was welcomed by several associates and family members. He hung around with Nicolo Rizzuto, a Sicilian who was very familiar with the Cuntrera-Caruana families. The close knit Sicilian clan in Montreal grew over the years to come and during the mid 1970's started plans of overthrowing the Cotroni family, the largest and strongest family in Montreal. On January 22, 1978, Cotroni boss Paolo Violi was shotgunned to death while playing cards. In the aftermath Agostino Cuntrera, his brother-in-law Giovanni DiMora and Domenico Manno were arrested and charged with organizing the murder. He was sentenced to 5 years. Another suspect, Paolo Renda, escaped conviction by fleeing to Venezuela.
On March 3, 1983, Cuntrera was arrested together with Renda, Vito Rizzuto and 19 others after the police had raided their headquarters at the Consenza Social club, but was released again not much later. Agostino Cuntrera owned a couple of businesses in and round Montreal and was mainly based in St. Leonard. It granted him his nickname "the Seigneur of Saint-Leonard". He was also good friends with Alfonso Gagliano, a fellow Siculiana native and Liberal Party politician in Montreal. An article released by "La Presse" in 1994 indicated that Gagliano had ties to Cuntrera and the Mafia. Cuntrera was a very respected man in Montreal and many times if someone wanted to speak with boss Vito Rizzuto, they had to go through him first. In 2007 Rizzuto was put behind bars in Colorado for murder and racketeering. It is believed that Cuntrera was part of a ruling panel during Rizzuto's absence and acted as a street boss.
Ever since Rizzuto's imprisonment the family ran into several setbacks. At first there was project Colisée in which several heads of the family were arrested, including Paolo Renda and family patriarch Nicolo Rizzuto. Then, in August 2009 Frederico Del Peschio was murdered and so was Vito Rizzuto's son later that year. It was clear that somebody was targeting the family and it's control in the drug business. In May 2010, only 3 months after his release from prison, Paolo Renda was kidnapped and remains missing. By that time the police made clear to Cuntrera that he was in danger and should leave the city. Cuntrera however stayed, bought himself an armored car and had a bodyguard by his side. On June 29, 2010, Cuntrera was gunned down outside his food supply warehouse in Montreal. He was shot through the head and died instantly. His 40 year old bodyguard, Liborio Sciascia, was also killed in the hit. The funeral service was attended by about 600 mourners, including Vito Rizzuto's son Leonardo and Renda’s son Calogero.