Twenty-one people from the Ottawa area are facing a number of charges after an RCMP organized crime investigation dubbed “Project Amethyst”. The results of a two year long investigation were released on Friday to conclude the investigation of the activities of people believed to be linked to organized crime.
The RCMP led the investigation and say they’ve laid more than 54 charges for gambling, marijuana production, extortion, bookmaking, and organized crime-related offences.
The RCMP executed search warrants in Ottawa and Gatineau this July and September and have charged the following people:
- Benedetto Manasseri, age 49 of Ottawa
- Stephen Parrish, age 45 of Ottawa
- Gary Saikaley, age 49 of Ottawa
- Eric Russel, age 54 of Thorne
- Daniel Landreville, age 37 of Aylmer
- William Hamel, age 47 years Gatineau
- Christopher Oliver, age 27 of Ottawa
- David Ross, age 46 of Ottawa
- Kyle Michael Gourgon, age 28 of Ottawa
- Patrick Moulton, age 31 of Ottawa
- Ramzi Sayah, age 38 of Ottawa
- Ajay BhandariI, age 32 of Ottawa
- Robin Golby, age 37 of Ottawa
- Daniel Ranieri, age 28 of Bolton, Ont.
- Jules Alter, age 59 of Ottawa
- Michael Delorme, age 27, currently incarcerated
- Lucien St-Jean, age 64 of Plantagenet, Ont.
- Simon Leclair, age 70 of Ottawa
- Alain Normand, age 50 of Plantagenet, Ont.
- Guylaine Duval, age 49 of Plantagenet, Ont.
- Domenico Arecchi, age 47 of Ottawa
All those not previously incarcerated have been released except Manasseri, Parrish and Saikaley, whose will have bail hearings in Ottawa.
Two of the men charged in Project Amethyst were arrested along with 52 other people in 2001 after a similar joint police operation that infiltrated a high-tech illegal gambling ring that raked in $200 million each year wagered in different sports like the NHL and NFL.
The ring was controlled by the Rizzuto crime syndicate — one of Canada’s largest traditional organized crime families.
Surprisingly, no details have been given by the RCMP or by any of the news agencies in regards to the name of the illegal gambling website in question, if not for anything then at least to protect the public who may be using the website.