July 17, 2017 2:15 pm

Final 11 accused in Quebec mob bust see charges stayed by judge

Weapons seized during Project Clemenza are displayed during a news conference at RCMP headquarters in Montreal.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
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The final 11 accused in a massive mob bust in Quebec have had the charges against them stayed by a judge.

They were charged after Project Clemenza, a series of busts against organized crime between 2014 and 2016 that led to dozens of arrests.

READ MORE: Federal Crown stays charges against 36 in Quebec anti-Mafia bust

Prosecutor Andre Albert Morin says the Crown asked for the stay after speaking to investigators in the RCMP-led case and concluding it wouldn’t be able to provide answers to pointed technical questions from the defence.

READ MORE: Quebec tobacco ring allegedly involved Montreal Mafia and native organized crime

At the time of the first wave of arrests, the RCMP proudly boasted about an investigative tactic that saw more than one million private PIN to PIN BlackBerry messages intercepted between 2010 and 2012 and analyzed.

Assets seized during RCMP raids in Quebec linked to Project Clemenza on June 12, 2014.

Handout/RCMP

In March, the federal Crown used its discretion to have charges stayed against 36 people arrested in Clemenza.

READ MORE: Quebec corruption inquiry looks into Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto’s links to construction

Clemenza was the biggest anti-Mafia police sweep by federal authorities since its takedown of the Rizzuto crime family during Operation Colisée in 2006.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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