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Daily Archives: April 15th, 2009


Salvatore “Sal the Ironworker” Montagna

The feds last week secretly busted the reputed acting boss of the Bonanno organized crime family — Salvatore “Sal the Ironworker” Montagna — and are on the verge of deporting him to Canada for an immigration violation, The Post has learned.

“He is in ICE [US Immigration and Customs Enforcement] custody,” said ICE spokesman Luis Martinez.


The 38-year-old Montagna’s lawyer said the purported mobster is being booted from the US for a 2003 contempt conviction only because federal authorities are frustrated at being unable to indict him for any crimes after investigating him for years

It is sour grapes on the part of the FBI,” said Montagna’s lawyer, George Stavropoulos, who denies his client is in the Mafia. “They brought in [immigration authorities] into the case a year ago in the event they could not indict him on anything.”

“This was the ace up their sleeve. They always knew they could get him on the immigration thing,” Stavropoulos said. “It is quite shameful that after a three-year investigation by the feds, the best they can do is get him deported.”


“Basically the government has uprooted him from his family,” said the lawyer of Montagna, an Elmont, LI, resident with a wife and three young daughters, who has lived in the US since he was 15. “He’s going to lose his business.”

Montagna, who was born in Canada and raised in Sicily, was identified by authorities three years ago as the acting head of the Bonanno family. His purported ascension raised eyebrows because he was just 35 years old at the time, but was chalked up to the fact that a series of prosecutions had decimated the upper ranks of the Cosa Nostra clan.


Montagna was busted April 6 at his company, Matrix Steel, in Bushwick, Brooklyn and since then has been held in an immigration detention center in lower Manhattan, his lawyer said.

Stavropoulos said immigration authorities have detained him since then on the grounds that he pleaded guilty in 2003 to criminal contempt charges for refusing to answer questions in front of a Manhattan grand jury.

Immigration officials told Stavropoulos today that they will send Montagna to Canada within the week, the lawyer said. Martinez, the ICE spokesman, declined to comment on the schedule for Montagna’s deportation.

Stavropoulous blasted authorities for arresting Montagna at this point in time, when his company is providing steel for two large construction projects, one in Manhattan, and the other in Queens.

They did this despite the fact that they knew that his daughter’s First Communion was in two weeks, which is more important to him than the two massive [building] contracts he has outstanding,” Stavropoulos said. “He never ran, he never fled, never tried to go anywhere, so there’s no real explanation at this point other than they just couldn’t indict him on anything.”

“Ultimately, they strong-armed him into leaving the country, because they couldn’t prove a single allegation.”