One of the seven men who plotted to kill Mafioso Salvatore Montagna when he tried to take control of the Montreal Mafia has been ordered to reside at a halfway house out of concerns for his safety.
Steven Fracas, 35, is scheduled to be released from a penitentiary in December when he reaches the two-thirds mark of the 39-month sentence he received on Sept. 12, 2017 after he pleaded guilty to taking part in the plot to kill Montagna in 2011. Fracas was part of group of men who worked under Raynald Desjardins while he also was trying to take control of the Montreal Mafia.
Desjardins and Montagna briefly worked together before having a falling out, and an attempt was made on Desjardins’s life in Laval in September 2011. He was already being investigated by the RCMP when someone tried to shoot him. As part of a drug trafficking investigation, the Mounties were already monitoring text messages that Desjardins, Fracas and several other men had been exchanging for months. After the failed hit on Desjardins, the subject of most of their exchanges switched to a plan to kill Montagna.
Montagna was shot on Nov. 24, 2011 inside a home in Charlemagne, a town just east of Montreal. Seven men in all were charged in connection with the murder, including Desjardins and Fracas, but they ended up pleading guilty to the lesser charge of conspiracy. Fracas received one of the longer sentences among the seven — an overall prison term of nine years — but that was because of his criminal record.
He will automatically qualify for a statutory release in December because he was not previously granted parole. Fracas is about to leave a penitentiary while things are almost as volatile among organized crime circles in Montreal as when he was arrested in 2011. The current situation did not go unnoticed when the Parole Board of Canada reviewed Fracas’s case earlier this week.
Instead of walking away a relatively free man in December, he will be required to reside at a halfway house.
“(T)he Board cannot be oblivious to the numerous and recent retaliation murders of Traditional Italian Organized Crime members in the recent months, which could lead you to resume your criminal activities, or put your safety, considering your ties with a criminal organization (at risk),” the parole board noted in a written summary of its decision.
In October, Andrea (Andrew) Scoppa, the leader of a Calabrian clan within the Montreal Mafia, was gunned down in Pierrefonds. His brother Salvatore was killed at a hotel in Laval in May. In October, just before Andrea Scoppa was killed, the Sûreté du Québec alleged that Salvatore Scoppa had been involved in the 2016 deaths of two leaders of the Rizzuto organization. Both of those men — Lorenzo Giordano and Rocco Sollecito — were behind bars in 2011 when Montagna and Desjardins went to war. Fracas is the nephew of Francesco Arcadi, one of the few longtime Rizzuto organization leaders who is still alive.
According to the parole decision, Fracas is alleged to have maintained his ties to the Montreal Mafia while behind bars.
“You were seen a few times having supper with other influential members of (organized crime) groups. In addition, your caseworkers consider that your job (inside a penitentiary) as a range representative reflects your importance in the eyes of your fellow inmates and their respect for you,” the parole board noted.
This story will be updated.