Deportation looms for Laval man with alleged mafia connections

MONTREAL – A Laval man alleged to have Mafia ties finds himself running out of options as an immigration tribunal has declared he can be deported to his native Italy even though he has lived in Canada for more than five decades.

Moreno Gallo, 64, who is out on day parole, showed up for a hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board at Complexe Guy Favreau yesterday for what essentially turned out to be a formality.

Because of a series of admissions agreed to in the case, IRB member Dianne Tordorf ruled that Gallo can be deported, which the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been seeking to do since February 2008.

According to a document filed in Gallo’s case, CBSA only realized in 2008 that he was a permanent resident and had never become a Canadian citizen. Gallo arrived in Canada, on May 6, 1954, when he was 8 years old. His mother and sister arrived with him; his father had been residing in Canada for two years already.

Gallo left school with a Grade 9 education and worked various jobs before opening Motta’s bakery 35 years ago with his father-in-law. The popular Little Italy bakery on Mozart St. E. is still run by Gallo’s wife.

But it was what Gallo did, as a sideline to the bakery, that now finds him closer to being deported to Italy – where, he claims, he has no close relatives. In 1973, Gallo and an accomplice murdered a drug dealer who was considered to be a rival of the Cotroni organization. Gallo, who insists he killed the dealer because he sold drugs at his sister’s school and not as part of a gangland settling of accounts, received a life sentence after pleading guilty to murder in 1974.

Gallo was paroled in 1983 and was warned at least once about associating with known criminals while he was living under the conditions of his release.

He was returned to a penitentiary in 2007 after he was secretly filmed bringing large wads of cash to the Consenza Social Club in St. Léonard, where he handed it to people like reputed Mob boss Nicolo Rizzuto Sr.

It was during his return behind bars that federal officials realized Gallo was incorrectly listed as a Canadian citizen. The error was noticed during his transfer from the Leclerc Institution in Laval to the Cowansville Institution in the Eastern Townships.

Through his lawyer, Stephen Fineberg, Gallo admitted to the IRB that he is not a Canadian citizen and that he was convicted of a criminal offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years. People who meet both criteria, under the "serious criminality" section of the Immigration and Refugee Act, can automatically be deported. Because Gallo was sentenced to more than two years of prison he is ineligible to seek an appeal through the Immigration Appeal Division. He can, however, appeal certain aspects of his removal order through the Federal Court of Canada. Gallo already filed for an appeal of CBSA’s removal order this year.

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