A drug trafficker working for organized crime in New York kept millions of dollars and dozens of kilograms of cocaine in his homes in Beverly Hills, prosecutors said Thursday.
Alessandro Taloni pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn, N.Y., federal court Thursday morning to trafficking cocaine for the Rizzuto crime family of the Italian mafia. Taloni has dual Canadian and Italian citizenship and two homes in Beverly Hills, federal prosecutors said.
In a sweeping indictment returned in April, prosecutors accused Taloni and four other men of operating an elaborate cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy trafficking operation for the last 10 years involving the Rizutto and Bonanno crime families, the Hells Angels, the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico and Native Americans from the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation.
Prosecutors say the men would use the Hells Angels and people from the reservation near the border to smuggle in ecstasy and hydroponic marijuana from Canada into the U.S. to sell.
Taloni flew from Montreal to Los Angeles, where he collected the money from the drug sales then used it to buy cocaine from the Sinaloa cartel bringing it in from Mexico, prosecutors said. The cocaine was then sent to Canada, where it was sold.
As part of the operation, Taloni kept two homes in Beverly Hills. One was his residence, the other was a stash house. Authorities say they found $1 million and 49 kilograms of cocaine in Taloni's homes and car during a search.
"Taloni was a major narcotics distributor who used his connections to powerful international organized crime groups to obtain and distribute tens of millions of dollars worth of deadly narcotics," said Eastern New York U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in a statement.
Additional searches of other Los Angeles locations linked to the network turned up $1.6 million and 34 more kilos of cocaine. authorities.
Taloni could face 10 years to life in prison.