In a historic case, alleged ‘Ndrangheta “local crime boss” Giuseppe “Pino” Ursino was slammed with a 10-year penitentiary sentence for several charges linked to cocaine trafficking for a criminal organization.
Cosmin “Chris” Dracea, 42, of Toronto, who’s not a ‘Ndrangheta member, received nine years as he was also convicted of charges related to drug trafficking, but acquitted on a charge of drug trafficking for a criminal organization.
“Their motive was greed. The product they trafficked and conspired to import is a blight on society,” said Justice Brian O’Marra.
“Those who traffick and conspire to import cocaine will face long definite jail terms. This is based on the dreadful toll of this drug on society.”
The prosecution marked the first time in Canada the Calabrian-based ’Ndrangheta has been targeted as an organized crime group since the criminal organization offence became law in 1997, said senior federal prosecutor Tom Andreopoulos.
The jury rejected both men’s testimony that they were “just talking” about a scheme to import cocaine and neither meant to execute the plans that “were so ludicrous that they couldn’t be taken seriously,” said O’Marra.
One of the unconsummated schemes involved importing hundreds of kilograms of cocaine in barrels of jerk sauce, in cardboard or in frozen fish.