Juan Ramon Fernandez, Toronto muscle for Montreal Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto, has been denied parole because he threatened to use his organized crime connections to murder a Kingston prison guard, according to parole documents.
“Several correctional officers witnessed death threats you made to another guard who was attempting to search you,” the parole board wrote to Fernandez earlier this month. Fernandez, 54, is currently serving a 12-year sentence on a number of charges, including conspiring to murder and conspiring to traffic drugs.
The letter goes on to say that “During this incident, you seemed to flaunt your well-established ties to traditional organized crime in an effort to further intimidate the guard; this implies you remain connected to the same criminal lifestyle that enabled your considerable drug dealing activities.”
The letter also casts suspicion on a lawyer who routinely visits organized criminals while in prison.
“Your ongoing visits from a lawyer who has worked for persons identified as being part of organized crime further reinforces your continuing involvement with this criminal subculture,” the letter states.
Fernandez, a Spanish national, was sentenced to 12 years in prison in June 2004 by Justice Joseph Kenkel for a half-dozen gangland charges, including conspiring to murder a 460-pound rival fitness club owner who owed money to Rizzuto. In trials, it came out that Fernandez looked after Rizzuto’s interests in the GTA, and pleaded guilty to activities ranging from contract murder to major drug trafficking as a high-level part of Rizzuto’s organization.
He was also convicted of conspiring to traffic 1,000 kilos of cocaine with Montreal’s Rizzuto crime group and local Hells Angels.
Fernandez’s prison sentence expires on March 21, 2012.
Fernandez, who has twice been deported to Spain, lived in a Mississauga condominium while using the names Joe Bravo and Johnny Bravo and James Shaddock. He is under a deportation order to return to Spain when he’s released from prison.
The parole board review noted that Fernandez was placed in segregation for more than a month after threatening the guard.
It also states that he has made a “considerable lack of progress” on rehabilitation while behind bars.
“In fact, the Board notes you had earlier refused transfer to a medium-security institution where your programming needs might be better met,” the letter continues. “. . . Your lack of treatment in this regard is especially relevant in the context of your involvement in an inherently violent drug subculture.”
“Although the guard you threatened has since decided against pursuing criminal charges for personal reasons, the Board notes a serious institutional charge remains outstanding in connection with this incident and that your security classification was again increased to maximum.”
The letter adds that Fernandez is a strong bet to reoffend quickly when he’s finally released from custody.
“A statistical risk evaluation places you in a group of offenders where 60 per cent will commit an indictable offence within three years of release,” the letter adds. “This predictor is concerning in light of your significant criminal history, which includes a variety of serious drug offences and violent crimes.”
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