Mafioso Francesco Del Balso was arrested at Montreal-Trudeau airport in the middle of the evening last Thursday, in connection with the attempted murder of Leonardo Rizzuto in mid-March, learned La Presse from various sources.

At the time of his arrest, Del Balso would have intended to go to Italy, a country for which he would have obtained a plane ticket, one way only, according to our information.

Del Balso, 52, was released without charge pending further investigation by the Sûreté du Québec.

According to our information, his passport and his telephone were however seized by the investigators.

On Wednesday, March 15, Leonardo Rizzuto, youngest son of former Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto, was the target of multiple shots fired from a moving vehicle while in his car in a sector located at the corner of highways 440 and 13, in Laval.

Leonardo Rizzuto, considered by the police to be one of the leaders of the Sicilian clan of the Montreal mafia, was reportedly hit by two projectiles, and was injured in the legs and shoulder.

Driving, alone on board, he still managed to get to the parking lot of a funeral home, where he was rescued by Urgences-Santé paramedics and taken to hospital.

Formerly associated with the Sicilian clan of the Montreal Mafia, Francesco Del Balso was sentenced to 15 years in prison for gangsterism, trafficking and importing cocaine in the wake of the major Operation Coliseum led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in November 2006.

He was shot while in his car near his home in Laval last November, and it’s a miracle he got away without a scratch.

According to our sources, Del Balso was the target of another attempted murder by shooting in Laval at the end of January, but there was a mistake about the person.

The attack on Rizzuto could be a response to these murder attempts, sources say.

In May 2017, while he was on parole, individuals broke into Del Balso’s home, presumably to kill him. But the mafioso was absent and the suspects manhandled his family members before fleeing.

Last September, Laval police arrested him in connection with allegations of extortion against a priest, but he was never charged in this case.

According to police sources, Del Balso would today be more associated with bikers than with the mafia. He would be close to the Hells Angels Martin Robert and Stéphane Plouffe, considered by the police to be among the most influential individuals in Montreal organized crime.

According to our information, members of the Montreal mafia have found that Del Balso’s group has been too broad in recent months in certain criminal activities, which could explain the attempted murders of which the latter has been the victim more recently.