A Hamilton man is facing murder charges in the shooting deaths of mobster Angelo Musitano and Toronto woman Mila Barberi, and two other suspects are now the subject of an international manhunt, police announced at a news conference Thursday morning.
Jabril Abdalla, 27, of Hamilton, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Police have also had Canada-wide warrants issued for two more suspects who investigators believe may have fled to Mexico.
Police identified them as Michael Graham Cudmore, 37, from Hamilton, and Daniel Mario Tomassetti, 27, of Ancaster, a suburban area of the city. All three suspects are facing two first-degree murder charges, three conspiracy to commit murder charges and one attempted murder charge.
Police believe one of the suspects was the person who pulled the trigger, but won't say which one.
"This case is about traditional organized crime, the Mafia, the mob, whatever handle you want to give it," said Hamilton police Det. Sgt. Peter Thom. "Organized crime continues to thrive in our communities."
The arrest was part of a multi-service effort called "Project Scopa" — Italian for broom — and police are urging Cudmore and Tomassetti to turn themselves in.
"Anyone assisting these individuals to escape or evade arrest will be charged with accessory after the fact to murder," Hamilton police said in a news release issued Thursday.
Thom said Cudmore's family has officially declared him a missing person as he stopped communicating with them around the time one of his associates was found bound and executed in a ditch in Mexico.
"The fact that his friend was found murdered down there, the fact that he has not been heard from since around the same time period is concerning, especially for his family," Thom said.
Police will work with Mexican law enforcement officials and Interpol to try to bring the two men back to Canada to be tried for their alleged crimes.
Investigators announced in late January that a number of characteristics linked the shootings of Barberi in March 2017 and Musitano two months later.
Barberi, 28, was killed while she sat in a BMW SUV parked outside a business in the middle of the afternoon in an industrial area of Vaughan, Ont. She was picking up her boyfriend, Saverio Serrano, 40, who police say has connections to organized crime and may have been the intended target.
Musitano, 39, was gunned down while sitting in his pickup truck in the driveway of his home in Waterdown, Ont. His family was inside the house when he was killed.
Musitano was the son of Dominic Musitano, a longtime crime boss in Hamilton who had close ties to the Rizzuto crime family in Montreal. Angelo and his brother, Pat Musitano, served nearly 10 years in prison for their roles in the 1997 shooting death of Johnny Papalia — arguably Hamilton's most infamous Mafia figure — and one of his lieutenants, Carmen Barillaro.
Canadian organized crime experts have theorized that Musitano's death may have been retaliation for his role in Papalia's murder.
Police have said that Musitano was "stalked" for several days before he was killed and that multiple people were involved. Hamilton homicide detectives previously released images of a stolen Ford Fusion believed to have been used as the getaway car in Musitano's homicide. They have also identified three other vehicles that were seen around Musitano's home before his death.
In the Barberi case, there were at least two people involved: the gunman and a getaway driver. The gunman arrived at the scene in a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee. He got out of the vehicle, ran toward Barberi's SUV and opened fire, hitting her multiple times and wounding her boyfriend in the arm.
Police previously said Barberi and her boyfriend were shot mistakenly, and the real target was someone else who was also at the Vaughan business that day.
Shootings share similarities
Witnesses described a similar looking gunman in both shootings. A black Honda Civic Coupe has also been connected to both shootings, according to York Regional Police.
Thursday's arrest announcement marks the latest twist in a string of violent incidents linked to organized crime activity in Hamilton in recent months.
Weeks after Angelo Musitano was shot, someone fired bullets into the home of his brother, Pat.
Then, on Sept. 13, 2018, real estate agent Albert Iavarone, 50 — who police say had connections to organized crime and knew two of the suspects in the Musitano shooting — was gunned down outside his home.
No arrests have been made in those cases, but Thom said the killings, along with a recent rash of bombings and arsons, points to unrest in the criminal underworld.
"Investigation would lend credence to the fact there are two different groups and ... there seems to be some sort of power struggle going on," he said.