Drug trafficking in Catania, supplies from Calabria to the clans

June 20, 2024, 05:01

4 min read

CATANIA – The two Calabrians were the kingpins of cocaine trafficking between Calabria and Catania, where they had settled and managed an association of people involved in drug trafficking (NOMI). This is what emerges from Operation Devotion, which led to 13 arrests on the morning of Wednesday 19 June.






The investigations of the Catania Flying Squad, coordinated by Prosecutors Tiziana Laudani and Ignazio Fonzostarted from the local cocaine wholesaler Carmelo Scilio and then concentrated on his Calabrian suppliers Bruno Cidoni and Antonio Pezzano, discovering that the association supplied cocaine to various members of the Catania clans and drug dealing squares.

The group had set up a supply systemmovement and distribution that allowed several kilos of cocaine and marijuana to enter Catania every week, with daily trips by a courier and cutting and selling in a logistics base, Bruno Cidoni’s house.

Buying drugs

At the height of the association the investigators identified the Calabrians Bruno Cidoni and Antonio Pezzano. In particular, the former had relations with the ‘ndrangheta member Francesco Pelle, of the ‘ndrina Pelle – Gambazza di San Luca. The two were 50 percent partners in a construction company.

Cidoni and Pezzano, based in Catania, they managed the purchase of cocaine and marijuana directly with Calabrian suppliers, negotiating prices and managing logistics. The two then managed the operational bases in the Catania area, where they stored, cut, packaged and sold the cocaine.

Pasquale Zangari was also involved in the purchase of the drugsidentified in the investigations as the intermediary who, in Calabria, physically delivered the drugs to the couriers and was responsible for collecting the money to pay the Calabrian suppliers.

Courier travels

In a first phase, until November 2020, the group personally took care of moving the drugs to the Catania area. A courier, Francesco Sedici, traveled at night almost daily to go to . Here he met Zangari in the parking lot of a riding school – pizzeria, in the Pellaro area.

Zangari was responsible for physically delivering the cocaine, which Sedici placed in some hiding places inside his car. At this point the courier returned to Catania and parked the car, stuffed with cocaine, in the garage of his house.

The next day, Sedici himself drove to Bruno Cidoni’s house, considered the main operational base of the association, and delivered the cocaine. Sometimes the delivery was limited to the quantity that the two drug traffickers needed for the day’s sales; other times, Sixteen would deliver the entire batch of drugs.

In all, investigators documented more than 20 trips to supply cocaine and marijuana, with total seizures of 11 kilos of drugs. The group was intercepted several times by the police while they were talking about the precautions to take so as not to be stopped. The courier made tickets for Reggio Calabria valid for three days, so as not to make it clear that he was going to the city on the Strait every day, and several members of the organization used encrypted mobile phones, which could not be intercepted by the police.

The delivery and the Catania clans

Once it arrived at the operational base in Catania, the cocaine was cut by Cidoni himself, prepared in blocks and sold to members of the clans and drug dealing centers of Catania. Cidoni and Pezzano acted like wholesalers: they sold the cocaine but did not enter into the dynamics of clan affiliation.

The two Calabrians sold cocaine to leading names in Catania crime. Gaetano Bellia, Oreste Prelati, Carmelo Scilio and Massimo Ventaloro obtained their supplies from the two, according to the investigators linked to the Cappello – Bonaccorsi clan, but also to Cristian Lo Cicero and Giuseppe David Costa, members of the Mazzei “carcagnusi” mafia clan, and to members of the family Nice of the Santapaola – Ercolano clan, including one of the leaders like Salvatore Privitera.

On the opposite front, Carmelo Distefano also bought cocaine from Cidone and Pezzanoin that period at the top of the Milanese Cursoti, accompanied by his right-hand man Martino Carmelo Sanfilippo, manager of the drug dealing square in Viale Grimaldi where the Cursoti would then have a firefight with the Cappello – Bonaccorsi.

The arrest of the courier

The cocaine movement system created by the association it came to a halt in November 2020, when Francesco Sedici was arrested in Villa San Giovanni with a load of 5 kilos of cocaine. From that moment Cidone and Pezzano decide not to go to Calabria in person to recover the drugs.

The solution found by the two is to get the cocaine to Catania on trucks, hidden in “bins”, or containers for citrus fruits. The drugs arrived in Sicily and were delivered to some of the members of the association, before being stored in an apartment in the San Giorgio district.

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Published on

June 20, 2024, 05:01

 
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