Salvatore "Sal the Iron Worker" Montagna (may 11 1971 – November 24, 2011) was an acting boss of the Bonanno crime family of the New York City mafia families, and the Sicilian faction-leader of the Bronx section. At the time of his death, he had been associated with the Rizzuto crime family of Montreal. He was a dual citizen of Italy and Canada.
Montagna was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1971. He was raised in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily. In the mid 1980s, at the age of 15 his family moved to the United States and settled in the Bronx, New York. It is unclear when Montagna became active in the life of crime or when he became a made man in the Bonanno crime family. During the late 1990s, Montanga's name was overheard in wiretapped conversations between Boss Joseph Massino and other reputed members of the Bonanno crime family.
Sal the Iron Worker
Little is known of Montagna's personal life other than he meets his wife Francesca Carcione and married her and lived in a modest home in Elmont, Long Island with his wife and three daughters. He started a small metalworking company called 'Matrix Steel Co.', located at 50 Bogart Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Matrix Steel manufactures structural and rail mill products, gray and ductile iron foundry crucibles, foundry converters, casting machines, sizing or embossing presses, foundry mold machines and foundry dies and tooling. It was around this time that Montagna was given the nickname, "Sal the Iron Worker".
In 2002, Montagna was arrested along with the crew of Capo Patrick DeFilippo for illegal gambling and loansharking charges. He refused to answer questions before a grand jury and was charged with criminal contempt of court. He later pleaded guilty to the charge in 2003, and was placed on probation. In late 2003, US law enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) listed Montagna as an acting Caporegime of the Bonanno family on behalf of DeFilippo and the Sicilian faction based in the Bronx.
Acting boss The "Bambino Boss"
After longtime Bonanno crime family Boss, Joseph Massino became a witness, testifying against 60 of his fellow mobsters, Vincent Basciano was recognized as the reputed Boss of the Bonanno crime family, only to discover that Massino would testify against Basciano as well, shipping him directly off to prison. Around late 2005, Basciano stated that he would promote the Sicilian faction of the old Bonanno crew back in the family's leadership, as Montagna was recognized as the reputed acting boss of the Bonanno crime family from early 2006 until his deportation, with Nicholas Santora as underboss and Anthony Rabito as consigliere, making the "Administration" of the Bonanno crime family once again whole and safe. At that time, Montagna gained the nickname "Bambino Boss" due to his relative youth, being 36.
In 2008, Montagna was still the reputed Acting boss of the Bonanno's, controlling the entire Bronx faction of the family, as the Daily News links Montagna to known Sicilian Bonanno official, Baldassare 'Baldo' Amato. He resided in a modest home in Elmont, Long Island.
In 2009, Montagna was detained by the USCIS. A 2003 conviction on illegal gambling and his refusal to become a government witness had got him a five-year probation term. This allowed USCIS to deport him, having come within five years of obtaining a greencard, when it expired. While in Canada, he attempted to gain American residency. According to mob writer Jerry Capeci, it was understood Montagna would have no standing or authority within Montreal's then-dominant Rizzuto crime family.Shortly after arriving in Canada he joined the Rizzuto crime family (the former Bonanno Canadian faction) which operated in Montreal and were allies to the Bonanno crime family in New York. the power of the Rizzuto crime family had declined for years and Montagna saw his chance to seize control of the weak crime family and become boss.
In 2011, following the assassinations of several major Rizzuto mobsters starting in 2009, Montagna was identified as one of three major mobsters trying to fill the resulting power vacuum, if not take over the Montreal Mafia himself. He, along with Joe Di Maulo and Raynald Desjardins were trying to solidify power in the Rizzuto family. At the time of his death, he had been suspected of trying to shake down Montreal-area construction companies, due to their alliance with the Rizzuto family. He was considered the heir to the throne of the Rizzuto family.
The water-drenched body of Montagna was found on November 24th 2011 on the shore of Île Vaudry on the L'Assomption River, in the city of Repentigny, Quebec, Canada, on Montreal's North Shore region (courronne nord). He had been shot multiple times, at around 10am on November 24, 2011 on Île-aux-Tresors in the city of Charlemagne, Quebec, across the river. It was reported that Montagna jumped in the river in an unsuccessful attempt to escape his killers, He was 40 years old.
Law enforcement believes that Montagna was abducted and taken to the house as his vehicle was later found parked on a Montreal street. The house was occupied by convicted smuggler Jack Arthur Simpson, who was held later on a parole violation. Six people have been arrested and charged including Simpson and Raynald Desjardins of Laval, Quebec by far the most significant. Once described as Vito Rizzuto’s right-hand man, Desjardins was the target of a failed assassination on Sept 16th 2011 when someone tried to kill him and his bodyguard near his home in Laval. it is assumed that Raynald Desjardins had Salvatore Montagna murdered so that he could become boss of the Rizzuto crime family instead.