Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Montreal's Top 10 flashiest drug lords - all time power rankings

   Druglords sport fancy suits, drive souped up sports cars and spread a trail of cash wherever they go.
  Here are the best of the best when it comes to Montreal druglords who lived up to those standards.
1 - Ernesto Guillermo Francisco Barretto-Morales, aka Tito Pacheco  "Incredible clothes, alligator shoes, a gold watch with diamonds in it. He could pick up any woman. Nobody beat Tito."

Son of a Peruvian diplomat who first dabbled in cocaine in the early 1970s in Miami when the drug was still rare. Bought supply from WEG boss Dunie Ryan and proceeded to enlist a top lawyer and various other unlikely bluebloods into his web of underlings.  When not traveling in a rented limo, he motored around town in a $82,000 Porsche Targa and had a red telephone that cost him $15,000. He was a regular at Le Prive and the Saga Disco* on Bishop and Le Prive where he befriended barmaid Francine Brisebois who became his wife in Baie Durfe and stood by his side until she killed herself in Lima Peru in 2011. (Pacheco was charged with her murder but acquitted). Pacheco imported unrefined leaves and processed them in local labs, but the quest for discreetly acquiring chemicals required in their processing was the tricky part. He dressed flashy at all times, often in red. One day wearing red suit, yellow socks, pink boxing boots and a friend asked if he is a coke dealer "would I look this obvious?" as an excellent 1986 profile by Dan Burke recounts. He narrowly escaped prosecution by fleeing the country and still lives in Peru where he was convicted of other crimes recently.
It's the craziest, funniest, scariest and most insightful book ever written about Montreal. Absolute must-reading! Kristian Gravenor's Montreal: 375 Tales of Eating, Drinking, Living and Loving, order your paper copy here now.

2- Lucien Rivard 1914-2002 Heroin kingpin who escaped prison in 1965 by saying he had to water the rink. It was springtime and well over freezing. Rivard confessed to friends that he paid the guards off, a source tells Coolopolis. Lived in Cuba for a while and endured constant police surveillance. Helped establish the French Connection heroin ring. Featured in thousands of radio, TV and newspaper reports over the years.

3-Jimmy Cournoyer Born 1970 behind bars since 2012. Started by moving marijuana through Kahnawake and then trucked
and flew BC marijuana to Quebec and built fancy grow-ops and later an Ecstasy lab. pals with Georges St. Pierre and Leonard Di Caprio. Brazilian model girlfriend. Biker bosses and Capo Vito Rizzuto on the speed dial. Drove a $2 million Bugatti Veyron. Raised affluent in Laval. Father left when he was 16 and he stayed with mom Linda Bremner. Dad went broke and the family became threadbare.  St. Pierre vouched for his character and the hell-of-a-guy defence is believed to have knocked some time off his sentence.

4- Daniel Muir Owned a $2 million house in Mount St. Hilaire and three Mercedes Benz.
Axed to death in early Dec 2004 by a pair attackers without masks near the Hotel de la Montagne on Mountain at 9:45 one evening after leaving Wanda's strip club. He was 41. Crime reporter Richard Desamrais happened to see it - "I'll never forget seeing a forehead smashed with an axe" he said. Muir was initially arrested in 1992 with 2. 6 kg of cocaine and 8.2 kg of hash. He had such faith in his tarot reader that he paid for her house in Laval, bought her a Jeep Liberty and paid her to come to Cancun. Muir was duped out of over $100 million that he gave to Cambodians Sy Veng Chun and Leng Ky Lech to launder. They were convicted of money laundering in 2014. 
5- Daniel Serero born 1957 busted 1996. Said to have led a gang of 34 and sought control of the West End Gang after the arrest of Allan Ross. Traveled in a black Mercedes, wore lots of gold, flashed cash, owned a piece of a downtown nightclub.

6- Matt Garner  Weed dealer was raised in Dorion, moved to St. Henri where he used his marijuana cash to fund big-name hip hops shows including Rick Ross, Method Man and Busta Rhymes, his apartment became a magnet for local talent which he attempted to promote. "Matt made people feel like we could be Toronto or New York City, or Los Angeles, every city's rap dream," said music journalist Darcy MacDonald, a close observer of Garner's efforts.
Garner promoted the image of living large. He was burned to death, along with Einik Gitelman, in his apartment on St. Remi on Nov 11, 2011. The horrific double murder remains unsolved.

7- Paul Cotroni - Frank Cotroni's second son sported a giant floating diamond ring that was later stolen in an armed robbery at a cafe in St Leonard. He had his Corvette cut in half lengthwise and widened, so nobody in the world could say that had the same car. He is believed to have burned down the Super Club Oscar nightclub and adjacent buildings between 6409 to 6421 Robert in St. Leonard in 1992 because management fired his girlfriend Michele Veilleux, 24. He was killed by ht man Paul Gallant in August 1998 (one 29 Gallant killed between 78 and 2003).

8- John Griffin An unappreciated fashion innovator attempted to bring his Italian-inspired styles to the Irish hoods that moved in his circle. "He'd come in the bar looking like The Mask. And ask 'don't you know who I am?'" said one insider. He was sentenced for the murder of Denis Poirier, 38 in 2003. He was 45 at the time. Three years later his brother Richard, 41, also similarly stylistically inclined, was shot dead with 50 Mafia bullets at 2:30 am on a Wednesday morning on the lawn of his home at Rosedale and Terrebonne in NDG.

9- Elizabeth Barrer Fashionably beguiling nightclubista was involved in marijuana trafficking around Decarie Blvd. while on the lam from the states. She was shot dead in 2014 after meeting up with another motorist in a quiet section of Lachine. A friend tells Coolopolis that Barrer was a nice person who didn't sell drugs other than marijuana.

10 - Ducarme Joseph Thuggish street boss wasn't much of a fashion plate but his wife owned a fashion boutique called Flawnego, where killers attempted to take him down and ended up shooting innocent people dead. Joseph is suspected of being involved in the murder of Capo Vito Rizzuto's son Nick on Upper Lachine in NDG. Joseph was gunned down dead August 1, 2014. He was 46.

*where Guy Lafleur was partying in 1981 before dozing off at the wheel and almost dying on the way home) 


  1. Kristian, what was the address of the Super Club Oscar owned by Paul Cotroni on Robert Blvd. in St. Leonard back in 1992? (Number 7 in your "Wall of Shame"). Note that it is not included in the La Presse article.

    I was unable to track it down by using the less-than-comprehensive Google newspaper archive website nor via Lovell's directories--unless I overlooked it somehow or that the club was listed as a numbered company or otherwise mis-identified. Addresses are not published as often as they used to be for various reasons, particularly those where crime scenes occured.

    It is unfortunate that the Criss-Cross directories no longer included business and resident names by alphabetial order the way Lovell's had done for decades. In fact, even the occupations of residents used to be included in Lovell's. I can only assume that someone with pull decided that too much information might be detrimental or too revealing, just as the public posting of voters names, addresses, and occupations was discontinued several years back and decades before the threat of cyberspace identity-theft became a serious problem. Paranoia?

    No doubt researchers have already noticed that many online newspaper archives are notorious for missing crucial dates--even entire months and years--(!) thereby making it nearly impossible to identify certain facts. In some instances, the electronic or physical transfer of microfilm files onto Internet-readable data has been shoddy and practically worthless where entire paragraphs have been whited-out or blurry, thus making articles impossible to read. Indeed, entire pages had even been transfered in reverse, thereby requiring a mirror to read them online! You would think that proof-readers would have been hired to verify the process?

    I am even beginning to wonder if specific newspaper dates have been deliberately removed or claimed as "lost" in order to discourage easy online access to information unless one is willing or has the time to physically visit and wade through library microfilm rolls, which in the past I had done rather extensively.

    Most annoying of all is that the Montreal Star is not included in the Google archive, thus eliminating a vital cross-reference source whenever the Montreal Gazette article is "missing". The fact that the Gazette owns those Montreal Star archives but refuses to put them online is ridiculous and unacceptable. On occasion it is possible to locate a particular article from the Ottawa Citizen or other Canadian and even American newspaper but not from any Montreal newspaper, even if the event occurred in Montreal!

    Yes, anyone can traipse down to our larger libraries and view the Montreal Star's microfilm rolls, but it should be on Internet as well. Why should the Gazette care that their former rival would be accessible to researchers, especially now that newpapers in general are a dying breed?

    Telephone directory archives are often invaluable, of course, but those currently online are few and far between.

    You would think by now that there would be legions of students ready and willing to get down to work organizing such sources of information for the benefit of everyone despite the daunting task involved to complete such an endeavour.

    How many remember that the original Google newspaper archive website of years ago was more comprehensive and included various methods of cross-referencing stories that nowadays is way too cumbersome and time consuming.

    Am I asking too much? I don't think so. Surely ten years from now we will have a more comprehensive catalog of data that every student and researcher can access from home, school, and office?

    Paysites? The New York Times, other major publishers and libraries offer subscriptions to view their archives, but clearly many more are needed for those willing to fork over their money.

  2. All the answers you seek are in the BANQ search site. The Oscar Bar was somewhere between 6409 and 6421 Robert according to an article in La Presse Friday Dec. 18, 1992 page A-10. Pump "Super Club Oscar" and click exact term and patrimoine quebecois and you'll find it.

  3. Thanks! Only French newspapers and magazines are included, it seems.

    Surely there ought to be an English equivalent buried somewhere online?


Love to get comments! Please, please, please speak your mind !
Links welcome - please google "how to embed a link" it'll make your comment much more fun and clickable.