||Canada/ Montreal| Jimmy Cournoyer
Jimmy "Cosmo" Cournoyer is a Canadian drugleader and is an associate of the Rizzuto family.
Jimmy Cournoyer was born in 1979 in Laval, Quebec. During his teens he got mixed up with hoods and criminals while being active in the nightclub circuit. Starting as a drug dealer, Cournoyer became associated with members of both the Hells Angels and the Rizzuto family. At age 19 he formed his own trafficking operation and would grow to become one of the most important marijuana exporters in Canada. The supply of marijuana was transported in motor homes and trucks across Canada with aid from the Hells Angels while the Rizzuto family aided in smuggling the marijuana across the US border. The income was then used to buy cocaine from the violent Mexican Sinaloa drugcartel which in turn was imported by members of the Rizzuto family, such as Alessandro Taloni. The drug ring, which was active between 1998 and 2012, approximately grossed more than $1 billion. By 2009 he was sending at least a 1000 pounds of marijuana to New York per week. In 2001 Cournoyer was arrested for the first time for carrying around 10.000 Ecstasy pills. He also had a .45-calibre handgun on him. He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and was sentenced to 3,5 years in prison. His sentence however changed nothing about his perspectives and Cournoyer carried on in the drugbusiness.
Not only was Cournoyer known for his highly profitable drugrole, to the outside world he was also known for his lavish lifestyle. He drove a $1 million Bugatti Veyron, dated Brazilian topmodel Amelia Racine and frequently threw extravagant parties, which at times attracted Hollywood stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio. The RCMP noticed his luxurious behavior as well and started a wide spread investigation in 2008. Being aware of the threat, Cournoyer left his Bugatti in the garage and drove around in the Porsche Cayenne owned by his girlfriend in an attempt to get rid of the tail, but it was too late.
In 2010 the brother of Cournoyers girlfriend, Mario Racine, was arrested for his involvement in the drugring. Believed to be Cournoyer's second in command, Racine ran the ring's New York City warehouses in Brooklyn and Queens, where the drugs were received and distributed to customers. One of their biggest clients in New York was Bonanno associate John Venizelos.
In Spring 2012 Cournoyer was arrested while stepping of a jet plane in Mexico. Afterwards he was extradited to New York City to stand trial. A couple of months later, in April 2013, police also arrested John Venizelos. The trial is scheduled for this summer.
(Source: news.nationalpost.com, dailymail.co.uk, justice.gov)
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