Man faces deportation to Italy more than 20 years after drug import conviction

Man faces deportation to Italy more than 20 years after conviction

MONTREAL — A Quebec man convicted more than 20 years ago for his role in a Mafia-linked drug importation will be deported to his native Italy on Thursday barring a last-minute intervention from Ottawa.

Michele Torre has been here before — he was on the verge of being deported in 2016 before a ministerial reprieve saw that order stayed just 90 minutes before his flight.

Authorities are again seeking to deport him to Italy, and on Tuesday a Federal Court judge ruled against his request for a stay of the deportation order.

Stephane Handfield, Torre’s lawyer, argued his client should be allowed to remain because his wife has serious health problems.

But Lisa Maziade, a federal government lawyer, countered that his wife’s health problems would not be aggravated by Torre’s departure. She said the Laval, Que., contractor has exhausted his appeals and failed to establish he would suffer irreparable harm if returned.

The judge agreed, dismissing Torre’s arguments and noting that his wife has nearly a dozen health professionals attending to her care and three adult children in Canada who could look after her.

“He lived his life and made life choices, and there are consequences,” Judge Simon Noel said, noting Torre, a former permanent resident, failed to seek Canadian citizenship despite decades of living in Canada.

“He is the author of his own misfortune. It’s unfortunate his family will suffer the consequences, it’s very regrettable, but it’s not a reason to accept the requests made by Mr. Torre.”

The federal government has sought since 2013 to remove Torre for “serious criminality and organized criminality.”

Torre, now 67, was convicted in 1996 in a cocaine importation conspiracy linked to the Cotroni crime family.

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