Police have arrested one man and launched an international manhunt for two others in a pair of alleged Mob hits in southern Ontario, investigators announced Thursday, saying the deaths appear to be the result of a power struggle within the Mafia’s ranks.
Jabril Hassan Abdalla, 27, was arrested this week and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and three of conspiracy to commit murder, police said at a news conference in Hamilton.
The arrest was the result of a multi-jurisdictional investigation into the 2017 deaths of Angelo Musitano – a member of a notorious crime family who was shot dead in the driveway of his Hamilton home – and Mila Barberi, who was shot while in a car with her boyfriend in Vaughan, Ont.
“It was evident from the beginning that (Musitano’s) very public execution was likely a result of his involvement in the family business,” said Det. Peter Thom of the Hamilton police. “Although we don’t know the exact motive, there appears to be some sort of power struggle going on.”
Barberi was struck by bullets intended for her boyfriend, Saviero Serrano, who was also shot but survived, said Thom, alleging Serrano’s father is tied to organized crime in York region.
Investigators issued Canada-wide arrest warrants for Michael Cudmore and Daniel Tomassetti, who are believed to have fled to Cancun, Mexico. Canadian investigators plan to be in touch with Mexican authorities and Interpol to expand that warrant internationally, Thom said.
- Man gets 25 years to life for killing woman in car mistakenly in his driveway
- Quebec drug war: alleged right-hand man of street gang leader arrested in Europe
- ‘Write it off’: Why Ontario woman wishes police never found her stolen car
- ‘Very traumatized’: Arrest made in case of Toronto senior shot in the face with pellet gun
Cudmore’s family, however, worry that he may be dead, Thom noted.
He allegedly joined Daniele Ranieri, a person police were investigating, in Cancun in May 2017, Thom said. But Ranieri was found dead in March, three years after fleeing to Mexico to escape an Ontario arrest warrant, police said.
“He had been bound and executed,” said Thom.
Cudmore has since “uncharacteristically” lost touch with family members who have reported him missing and fear he might have met a similar fate, Thom said.
Meanwhile, Tomassetti, the second man being sought by police, allegedly flew to Cancun in July – four days after police released new information about the investigations into Musitano’s and Barberi’s deaths – and did not return a week later as scheduled, police said.
Thom noted that Tomassetti owned a travel business in Canada, called Wave Travel, and could have connections in Mexico.
“They are invested in diverse and lucrative ventures,” Thom said of the men allegedly involved in the shootings. “Some of their businesses are legitimate, but others aren’t. That’s why their organizational heads drive around in armoured vehicles with bodyguards, unlike the CEOs of other multi-national companies.”
Police also believe there are more suspects in the case.
“Three individuals were not the masterminds behind the plan to kill Angelo Musitano, and a number of other persons of interest were identified,” Thom said.
VIDEO: Arrest made in deadly shootings of notorious Italian mobster, woman in Vaughan
Investigators believe they know who the accused were working for and suspect those individuals are also involved in the Mafia but aren’t in a position to reveal more, Thom said.
Police are also still investigating whether the shootings are linked to that of Albert Iavarone, who was gunned down outside his Hamilton home earlier this month while his wife and two children were inside.
“It would be fair to say Albert Iavarone knew two of the accused persons in the Musitano case, is very close to one of the persons of interest in the Musitano case, and also he is known to have known Angelo Musitano,” Thom said. “I’m not saying that the two cases are connected, but it’s something we’re very interested in following up on.”