THE REPUTED CHIEF of the Canadian mafia, Vito Rizzuto, was released from prison in the United States today after serving part of a 10 year sentence for racketeering and conspiracy to murder.
The 66-year-old Rizzuto was freed from the Florence high security prison in Colorado this morning, said Chris Burke, spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The agency had announced on last week that Rizzuto was going to be released, but did not state the reason why.
It was not immediately clear whether US immigration authorities had authorised his immediate return to Canada.
There were fears his presence in Montreal could reignite a war between the Calabrian Mafia and Rizzuto’s Sicilian clan.
Rizzuto was arrested in January 2004 in Montreal, extradited in August 2006, and convicted the following May in a New York court for his role in the 1981 murders of three members of New York’s Bonanno crime family.
During his detention in the United States, he made several petitions for early release, most recently in August 2010 before a Colorado court, according to court documents.