Article by Adrian Humphreys, National Post
Antonio Sergi, who was shot dead in his Toronto driveway last week, was deeply involved in the medical marijuana industry, including a province-wide bid to unionize growers and the shady operation of an urban pot farm, the National Post has learned.
He was also a mob-linked crime figure known by the nickname “Tony Large” who faced drug charges and court squabbles.
The motive for his gangland-style murder at 2:30 a.m. on March 31 is not yet known — and the gunman still a fugitive — but Sergi’s violent end reveals a direct and disturbing link between medical marijuana production and organized crime just as the pot industry struggles for respectability amid a legalization push.
Sergi, 53, founded the Medical Cannabis Employees Union Local 1 in 2013 and announced his presidency with a professionally distributed media release, slick website and an office in Woodbridge, north of Toronto.
“We’re 250 to 300 strong as of today,” said Sergi when launching his union. “Our goal is to have at least 7,000 members by the end of 2013.”
He promised to lobby government, assist in licensing and to help consumers “access the highest quality” cannabis “at the fairest price.”
His vision of a province-wide union fell apart in a series of ruinous events: he was arrested in 2014 in a large Toronto drug case; medical marijuana laws changed; and people realized his union was a sham.
Around the same time, his criminal tie to a crew of known mobsters also fell apart.