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Twenty Ontarians Charged in Connection to Organized Crime

Four of the accused are from Niagara.

Niagara Regional Police Services has released details of an organized crime bust. 

Investigators say the investigation took ten months, and the group is accused of taking part in several criminal enterprises. 

The list includes conspiring to smuggle cocaine from Mexico and Los Angeles into Canada by crossing the St. Clair River, smuggling people across the Niagara River into New York State, production of cannabis on a large scale and smuggled into the U.S., production of illegal cigarettes and more. 

The group is also accused of possessing stolen vehicles and shipping them overseas, firearms possession, and production of illegal cigarettes. 

Over the last ten months, police seized millions of dollars worth of cannabis, undeclared tobacco, and cocaine. 

Police also found firearms, ammunition, six stolen cars and over $467,000 cash. 

The "Project Gateway" investigation concluded on September 14th, after search warrants were conducted in various locations across Ontario. 

The warrants were conducted with by 175 police officers from different agencies in Ontario, as well as 10 Canada Border Services Agencies. 

The following people face numerous charges:

  • 69-year-old Ollie Mastronardi of Leamington, Ontario
  • 43-year-old Mark Mastronardi of Leamington, Ontario
  • 45-year-old Joseph Spano of Leamington, Ontario
  • 59-year-old Daniel Fogazzi of Woodbridge, Ontario
  • 66-year-old Itolo Mallozzi of Woodbridge, Ontario
  • 42-year-old Raghbir Shergill Singh of Milton, Ontario
  • 42-year-old Harpal Bhangoo of Brampton, Ontario
  • 53-year-old Jonjel Barbu of Hamilton, Ontario
  • 35-year-old John Mercante of Binbrook, Ontario
  • 60-year-old Davor Perhot of Niagara Falls, Ontarip
  • 25-year-old Anthony Fogazzi of Woodbridge, Ontario
  • 81-year-old Nereo Frank Fogazzi of Port Colborne, Ontario
  • 43-year-old Ibrahim Hamzic of Niagara Falls, Ontario
  • 58-year-old Raytcho Kitchoukov of Etobicoke, Ontario
  • 66-year-old Vincent Pileggi of Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • 50-year-old Antoine Balanian of Niagara Falls, Ontario
  • 28-year-old Fawzi Zaid of Windsor, Ontario
  • 48-year-old Mel Rentaria  Castro of Surrey, British Columbia
  • 24-year-old Mehakdeep Maan of Brampton, Ontario
  • 55-year-old Mario Nicastro of North York, Ontario

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