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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, February 2, 2024

FBI Takes Down Drug Trafficking Network Connecting Mexican Cartels to Canadian Mafia Figures

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

The investigation, Operation Dead Hand, resulted in two federal grand jury indictments returned under seal in Los Angeles earlier this month. The indictments, which were unsealed today, collectively charge 19 individuals for their alleged roles in the organized crime syndicate, including Mexico-based suppliers who brought large quantities of narcotics into the United States, United States distributors, and a Canadian who led an exportation organization.

A large-scale Canadian trafficker and Italian organized crime figure, Robert Scoppa, whom investigators allege was purchasing massive quantities of drugs on a wholesale basis, used Canadian-based semi-truck drivers who operated in the United States as part of the smuggling methods.

Trafficking Indictments

10 people were arrested in multiple cities over the past day relating to two federal indictments charging members of an organized crime syndicate who allegedly conspired to traffic and import hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and other controlled substances from Mexico through Los Angeles for export to Canada or re-distribution throughout the United States.

Arrest and search warrants were executed by international law enforcement partners in various cities, including Los Angeles and Sacramento, Miami, and Odessa, Texas. As well as across Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary, Canada.

In addition to those arrested, two defendants were already in custody, and seven defendants are fugitives, including three Mexicans who allegedly supplied wholesale quantities of narcotics to the traffickers in the United States and Canada.

Montreal Mafia - Mexico Ring

An 18-count indictment returned on Jan. 4 charged 10 defendants for their roles in an organization that allegedly began operating on an unknown date and continued to on or about March 2023. The charges in the indictment allege two drug trafficking conspiracies; conspiracy to import cocaine; drug exportation conspiracy; distribution/possession with intent to distribute controlled substances; possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking; and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Investigators developed information indicating the organized crime group used Canadian “handlers” and “dispatchers” who traveled from Canada to Los Angeles for short amounts of time. The handlers coordinated the pick-up and delivery of large shipments of cocaine and methamphetamine, which were loaded onto long-haul semi-trucks destined for Canada. 

Mexican Exporters

Jesus Ruiz Sandoval Jr., who is currently a fugitive, is believed to be a large-scale drug trafficker involved in importing drugs from Mexico into the United States for distribution. He is based in Guadalajara.

John Joe Soto of Guadalajara, MX.

John Joe Soto is believed to have worked under Sandoval. 

Eduardo Carvajal of Guadalajara, MX

Eduardo Carvajal, also an alleged large-scale drug trafficker, is believed to export drugs from the United States to Canada.

Ayush Sharma

Ayush Sharma and Subham Kumar were Canadian semi-truck drivers involved in exporting drugs to Canada. 

Also charged were:

Carlos Barragan is an alleged drug trafficker who lives in Long Beach, California.
Corell Carbajal Garcia, 38, of Hemet, California;
Humberto Luis Bermejo, 26, of Odessa, Texas; and
Esteban Sinhue Mercado, 24, of San Jacinto, California.

Roberto Scoppa

Scoppa Brothers

Roberto Scoppa is described as a wholesaler of cocaine and other narcotics, coordinating the shipments as well. He has been jailed and is expected to eventually be extradited to the US.

Authorities say he is a large-scale Canadian trafficker and Italian organized crime figure whom investigators allege was purchasing massive quantities of drugs on a wholesale basis, using Canadian-based semi-truck drivers who operated in the United States as part of the smuggling methods.

Roberto Scoppa is the brother of the deceased Salvatore and Andrea Scoppa. The Scoppa brothers headed up a Calabrian faction within the Montreal Mafia and long attempted to take control of the Sicilian faction of the Italian mob in Montreal from the Rizzuto and Sollecito families.

Salvatore Scoppa

Andrea "Andrew" and Salvatore Scoppa were both killed on different dates in 2019,. An informant testifying in recent murder trials said both men were behind the deaths of several men tied to the Rizzuto organization who were killed in 2016.

Salvatore Scoppa was shot dead in front of a hotel with his family nearby.

Provincial police said they had no doubt that Salvatore Scoppa's killing was in response to four 2016 slayings. Andrew Scoppa's death was likely also a revenge killing.

Andrew Scoppa was also killed in 2019.

Andrew Scoppa said he had nothing to do with the war his brother Salvatore had waged when Mafia leaders Rocco Sollecito and Lorenzo Giordano were killed in 2016, in a recording made by an informant four months after Salvatore's death in 2019.

During one of the conversations, the informant described Sollecito and Giordano as having been “No. 1 and No. 2” in the Montreal Mafia hierarchy when they were killed. The Falduto brothers, Giuseppe and Vincenzo were also killed.

Salvatore and Andrew Scoppa (right).

Andrew Scoppa was arrested in connection to a cocaine smuggling investigation that targeted members of the Mafia. It was alleged he was distributing cocaine to dealers out of a downtown Montreal condo building. Proceedings were halted in 2017, which led to his release.

Unlike his brothers, Roberto Scoppa does not appear to have a criminal record in Quebec. In January 2019, prior to the deaths of his brothers, Roberto Scoppa traveled with Hells Angels Martin Robert to Colombia. In 2022, he was charged with uttering threats toward someone he knew and was acquitted in October 2023.

Roberto is the owner of a recycling company called Location Tri Box. In 2022, Le Journal de Montréal called attention to how the Quebec government awarded Location Tri Box a $33,000 contract despite the company being previously fined $10,000 by the provincial environment minister in 2020 for disposing of contaminated soil on agricultural land in Mirabel.

Scoppa Brother's Hit List

The death by natural causes of the Montreal Mafia's last known godfather, Vito Rizzuto, in 2013 created a power vacuum in Montreal, paving the way for rival clans to battle each other in the fight to come out on top. Similar wars were waged in Montreal years prior after Vito had been imprisoned in the United States in relation to an early-1980s murder of three Bonanno Family capos in New York. Orchestrated by former boss turned informant Joe Massino who recently passed away in the witness protection program, having been relocated to Ohio.

An informant testified that he killed the Faldutos, on June 30, 2016, inside the couple’s garage on orders from Salvatore Scoppa. He also said Scoppa and other Calabrian leaders wanted to “eliminate” as many people who sided with the Sicilian side as possible throughout 2016.

These are just some of the people the informant claimed were on the Scoppa brothers’ hit list at the time.

Silva (Left) alongside Mafia leaders Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito.

Frederick Silva, a prolific hitman, was arrested over several murders and had begun to cooperate with Canadian law enforcement while in prison. It was a result of Silva's cooperation that traffickers, including Samy Tamouro, fled Canada to places like the Dominican Republic or Mexico. Samy was killed late last year at a gym in Cancun, Mexico.

Salvatore Brunetti, a longtime member of the Hells Angels, who police sources have described for years as someone who meets often with members of the Montreal Mafia. During the 1990s, Brunetti was a member of the Rock Machine, a gang that clashed with the Hells Angels in Quebec for years.

Liborio (Pancho) Cuntrera, the son of Agostino Cuntrera, a known Montreal Mafia leader who remained loyal to the Rizzuto organization while it was under attack in 2010 and 2011. Agostino was killed in June 2010.

Francesco Del Balso, a leader within the Rizzuto organization, was killed in June of last year. Del Balso was arrested as part of the Operation Colisée sweep of the Montreal Mafia in 2006. He was convicted of gangsterism and conspiracy to import cocaine.

He was released in 2016, and then ordered back into prison over concerns for his safety. Parole board documents at the time described him as "next on an execution list." Del Balso was released again in 2018. In March 2022, he was stopped while trying to leave for Italy. He was released, but his passport was seized. A week later, he and three Hells Angels homes were searched.

Arsène (BM) Mompoint, a former street gang leader, was killed in Kanesatake on July 1, 2021. The informant said that, in 2016, the Scoppa brothers wanted him to kill Mompoint and an associate nicknamed Jedi, but he chose instead to warn both men because he considered them to be friends.

Antonio (The Florist) Mucci came to notoriety in the 1970s when he was convicted of the attempted murder of then-Le Devoir reporter Jean-Pierre Charbonneau. The informant testified he happened to spot Mucci at an Italian restaurant just hours after he killed the Falduto brothers. He told the jury he was with two other men at the time and that they talked him out of his plans to grab a few guns and kill Mucci on the spot.

Calogero (Charlie) Renda, the son of Paolo Renda, is believed to have been abducted in May 2010. The informant said he approached Calogero Renda, near the end of 2016, and informed him that he was on the Scoppa brothers’ hit list. He also alleged that Calogero Renda was willing to pay up to $200,000 to have someone killed for their involvement in killing Lorenzo Giordano.

Vito Salvaggio was tied to a series of apartments the Hells Angels used to collect and distribute millions of dollars they were making from the sale of drugs like cocaine. Surveillance on the apartments and computer records revealed he delivered $2 million to the biker gang. 

Nicola (Nick) Spagnolo. The informant testified Spagnolo was on the hit list and had been followed by people tied to the Scoppa brothers days before Spagnolo’s father, Vincenzo, a longtime friend of Vito Rizzuto, was killed by mistake in October 2016. 

Stefano Sollecito and his brother Mario. The informant testified the Scoppa brothers were not content with how he had killed Rocco Sollecito for them in 2016. They wanted two of his sons killed as well. 

Operation Dead Hand

Wholesale quantities of fentanyl were also seized as a result of the investigation. The transportation was coordinated by a network of drivers working with dozens of trucking companies who made numerous border crossings from the United States to Canada via the Detroit Windsor Tunnel, the Buffalo Peace Bridge, and the Blue Water Bridge.

A 23-count indictment returned on Jan. 3 charged an additional 9 defendants for their roles in a related criminal enterprise that allegedly operated from at least September 2020 through February 2023. In addition to a drug trafficking conspiracy, the indictment alleges a drug exportation conspiracy and substantive counts of distribution/possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Guramrit Sidhu, also known as "King," is alleged to have orchestrated the trafficking and exportation of large-scale quantities of controlled substances to Canada working with several co-defendants described as suppliers. Estrada said one of the indictments says Sidhu allegedly purchased kilograms of methamphetamine from suppliers in Mexico and Los Angeles.

“He then operated a network of truck drivers. They would use long-haul semi-trucks to move those drugs up through the United States and into Canada,” Estrada said.

Sidhu is charged with one count of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. According to the indictment, Sidhu occupied the position of organizer, supervisor, and manager, and in this role obtained substantial income and resources.

Ivan Gravel Gonzalez

Ivan Gravel Gonzalez, a Canadian, is alleged to be part of Sidhu’s exportation team based in the United States.

The indictments allege illicit drug trafficking activity cumulatively involving approximately:
  • 845 kilograms (1,860 pounds) of methamphetamine
  • 951 kilograms (2,092 pounds) of cocaine
  • 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of fentanyl
  • 4 kilograms (nearly 9 pounds) of heroin
The estimated wholesale value of the narcotics seized was between $16-28 million and over $900,000 in cash was seized during the investigation.  

If convicted, each defendant faces maximum penalties ranging from 40 years to life in prison. If convicted, Sidhu would face a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison. If convicted, Sandoval and Carvajal each would face a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Recent Canadian-Mexico Drug Trafficking Events


  1. these Canadian kingpins look straight out of a movie.

    1. You sound like a fangirl. shut the hell up. No need to idolize this scum

  2. From a Canada well done SocialJ!

  3. Colombia is a beautiful country but i have my doubts that martin robert was there to see the beautiful country side in 2022

    1. Colombia got the baddest women too. Gotta be careful with those tho they would suck up your entire wallet.

  4. Does Canada girl have a connect to the Montreal coke or does she buy her jale and blues from the streets? 🤔

    1. @9:54am Like our dictator Prime Minister Trudeau Canada has 1 main drug supplier named Tim Horton. I prefer higher quality product so my dealer's name is Holt Renfrew. Dry snitching!

      Canadian girl 💋

    2. Canadian girl dropping hints for gift ideas cuz valentine's day coming up..

  5. The East Indian drug trafficker and money launderer, Mohan Singh Thind of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Phoenix, Arizona, was a big player in this network before he was murdered in Calgary. Assume the HA, Italianos, or other Punjabis killed him or maybe his Arizona partners.

    1. East Indians are not involved in anything but driving trucks and taxis they always get busted because they have a big mouth

    2. 1230 those days are long gone I am white and i can tell you Indo Canadians get down. There is a older Indo canadian mafia thing going on. with strong ties back to india through the khalistan movement.

    3. Not true. Bindy Johal? Vancouver is mostly east Indian drug traffickers. I can name 150 of them. Its all public info.

    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    5. When was he murdered? Can't find anything on him except for comments on other borderland beat articles that I assume are from you posting

  6. Connected to the el mirage 6

  7. bueno montreal es unaa caja de sorpresas,los italianos,los haitianos gang,los hell angels y uno que otro latino.........

  8. Dhak, Dhrure, Singh, Daliwal, Johal, Grewal, Khalsa, etc.

  9. claro que roberto scoppa,esta asustado que lo lleven a una carcel gringa,porque aqui en canada una carcel federal es como un hotel 5 estrellas buena comida regular ,kosher o halal,depende tu religion,gym,y con suerte te consigues novia porque a las quebecas adoran los latinos,nada que ver con usa..........

  10. 406.2 kg meth bust, Saskatchewan at the Can-US border. Largest bust ever on the Canadian prairies. Trucker again.

  11. Sup to everyone. Hope everyone’s week was good.
    I’m always talking about the pictures of most narcos and their eyes. Like that last one of mencho. And this white guy and most of the others have that same fucking look “ the pupils look like black holes”
    I would hate to have that guy looking at me.

    Rubio NYC

  12. People don’t realize that the Canadian mob succeeded where the Americans failed… These guys are no joke and have direct connections to the clans in Italy.

    They make the Americans look like Boy Scouts.

    1. Canada has a drug friendly cultura. The government has de criminalized much of the drug possession and lenient prosecution of traffickers. Couple that with corrupt police and government officials and you have a drug traffickers paradise, eh!

    2. The American Mafia also has direct ties to Italy.

  13. This also highlights the proof… The Rizzutos are still strong but the Calabrians are the real powerhouse in Maple land.

    1. When you say Calabrian you mean Ndrangheta right? The Calabrian Montreal faction cannot stand to the Rizzutos. They have made many unsuccessful attempts

  14. Guadalajara Jalisco where everything started.

  15. Great work. What is required, greatly, is a photo of kingpin Guramrit Sidhu.

    1. Ace, thanks for sharing. Yes had a tough time finding a photo of him. Thanks for the link, going to add from that.

  16. So was this CJNG? Seems like they're kept the Mexicans' affiliations secret.


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