Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Guilty in major Niagara-based cocaine operation = Life

Two Ontario drug traffickers have been hit with life sentences after being convicted in the largest cocaine bust in Ontario history. Vito Buffone, of Caledon, and Jeffrey Kompon, of Welland, were each sentenced to life in prison following an appeal decision this month. The operation brought 2,431 kg of cocaine into Ontario in 2013 alone.
A jury took less than four hours to find two men guilty for their roles in an Niagara-based cocaine ring for which cocaine-filled granite boulders were imported from Mexico. Jeffrey Kompon, 46, of Welland and Vito Buffone, 53, of Caledon had pleaded not guilty in Superior Court of Justice to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, trafficking cocaine and conspiracy to import. The trial lasted more than three months.

Cocaine was smuggled in boulders imported from Mexico and Brazil as building materials for kitchen countertops and other uses.

Police seized more than $1.2m in cocaine.
The cocaine was imported into Canada at Montreal and other border points in Ontario and taken to a warehouse in Port Colborne where the drugs were extracted from the boulders. The cocaine was then transported to various locations in the Toronto area. Kompon and Buffone were among 14 people arrested when police conducted a series of raids in 2014.
The ring imported more than a tonne of cocaine in less than two years. The operation included associates of the Sinaloa crime cartel in Mexico. Also seized during the raid was $250k worth of marijuana, $430k cash, $400k in watches and other jewelry, a handgun and two shotguns. Thirteen high-end vehicles were also seized including a Ferrari and a Porsche.

Two people who were associated with the cartel received 17-and 18-year terms behind bars, respectively. Kompon and Buffone were in the “upper echelon”. Vito Buffone was originally sentenced to 22 years, minus a year for pre-sentence custody and restrictive bail. Jeffrey Kompon, was originally sentenced to 20 years, minus 18 months' credit for restrictive bail and pre-sentence custody.