11/05/2012 07:16 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Blainville Homicide May Have Ties To The Mafia

A man found dead in Blainville on Sunday night is Joe Di Maulo, a reputed high-level member of the Mafia.

The identity of the body was confirmed this morning by Quebec provincial police.

Di Maulo, 70, was found Sunday night by the Sûreté du Québec, which had responded to a call from the Blainville police service asking for assistance with a suspicious death.

The body was discovered in the driveway of a residence on Blainvillier Road.

Investigators say it is too soon to determine whether the killing was done to give a blow to the Rizzuto family or if the crime family ordered it.

'Complicated chessboard'

Di Maulo has been a key figure in Montreal's organized crime since the 1970s.

"This shooting shows how complicated this chessboard is in Montreal," investigative journalist Julian Sher told CBC News.

Sher said Di Maulo was in the Mafia's Calabrian branch, which ran Montreal in the 1970s in opposition to the Mob-linked Rizzuto family.

Di Maulo joined the Rizzuto family after Bonanno underboss Paolo Violi was assassinated in 1978.

Di Maulo escaped a jail sentence in 1971 after a successful appeal on a triple murder case that was committed in his bar, La Casa Loma. The bar was located near Saint-Laurent Boulevard in Montreal at the time.

Di Maulo's death comes a month after Montreal's Sicilian Mob boss, and returned to Canada after serving an eight-year sentence for his role in the killing of three leaders of New York's Bonanno crime family.

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