Drugs and ‘ndrangheta, cannabis plantations managed by the Reggio and Catanzaro clans: 11 arrests NAMES


By John

Eleven arrests – eight in prison and three under house arrest – and two bans on residence in the Calabrian territory. This is the outcome of an operation by the military of the Carabinieri Forestale group of Reggio Calabria, directed by the local district anti-mafia directorate, who reconstructed the existence of aa criminal association aimed at creating large cannabis plantations in the Calabrian territory with consequent sale on the illegal market of the narcotic substance obtained, within an organization made up of people operating between Taurianova, San Procopio and Sant’eufemia di Aspromonte, in the Reggio Calabria area.

The “shares” and the “expendables”

The investigations would have allowed to identify those who financed and supervised the plantation works, attributable to the ‘ndrangheta clans of the provinces of Reggio Calabria and Catanzaroas well as the other members of the organization, with the definition of the “shares” due to each of them, in terms of proceeds from the sale of the narcotic substance on the illegal market. In support of the associates, there were other figures hired from time to time, identified to carry out surveillance and labor tasks, “expendable”, often with no criminal record, willing to assume any responsibility in the event of an intervention by the police forces.

Secure channels

From the intercepted conversations it would have emerged that the participants in the organization appeared confident about the commercial channels to which to allocate the narcotic substance, thanks to the guarantor figures of the head promoters, already inserted in a structured and consolidated system of trade in the illegal market. The arrested did not even give up in the face of periodic actions to contrast their activities carried out by the police forces, so much so that they were able to quickly restart the production activities of the narcotic substance despite the various controls undergone. Furthermore, the associates simulated the legal existence of the hemp cultivations, with deceptions and stratagems aimed at evading the controls carried out by the forestry carabinieri.

The farm that produced cannabis

During an administrative check, one of the business owners, who had already been properly instructed by his associates, allegedly showed the Carabinieri documentation proving the existence of a farm in his name, a regular land rental contract and purchase invoices for certified hemp seeds within the limits set by current legislation. The officers who intervened had performed a sampling of the plants present, with a crop sample taken in the presence of the owner, to whom samples were given in contradiction for any counter-checks. The results of the analyses conducted by the Carabinieri scientific investigations unit allegedly confirmed the existence of an active ingredient – THC significantly higher than the threshold quantity permitted by law, which certified the narcotic nature of the sampled plants.

Among the various activities conducted during the investigation, the military of the Nipaf of Reggio Calabria had already proceeded to the arrest in flagrante of a man who was transporting large quantities of hemp plants taken from the plantations subject to this investigation, as well as four other suspects caught in the processing of the drug, with the consequent seizure of approximately 70 kg of marijuana already in a state of drying and ready for sale.

The hypotheses of crime

This last activity and all the elements collected by the investigators led to the adoption of precautionary measures, issued by the GIP of Reggio Calabria and executed today. The alleged crimes range from criminal association aimed at drug trafficking, aggravated pursuant to art. 416 bis 1 cp, to a series of drug-related crimes. Approximately 60 forestry carabinieri from Calabria and Sicily were employed for the operation, together with soldiers from the provincial command of Reggio Calabria.

Precautionary measures

In jail

Domenico Alvaro (03/24/1981 – Palmi)
Giuseppe Carmine Barone (Taurianova – 05/07/1959)
John Sure (Polistena – 06/24/1991)
Roberto De Fazio (Lamezia Terme – 04/05/1976)
Paul Scalese (Lamezia Terme – 05/28/1984)
Marcello Spirlì (Taurianova – 01/16/1972)
Vincenzo Violi (Reggio Calabria – 05/18/1982)
Francesco Virgiglio (Scilla – 3/11/1992)

Under house arrest

Rosario Capogreco (Polistena – 01/07/2000)
Giuseppe Giovinazzo (Taurianova – 10/30/1970)
Vincenzo Molinaro (Lamezia Terme – 20/05/1959)

Residence ban in Calabria

Fasalma Dembele (Mali)
Arouna Diop (Senegal)