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Italian police seize cache of drugs decorated with face of Mafia leaders

Italian authorities this week seized a cache of drugs packaged with the faces of notorious mafia leaders at a warehouse in the southern region of Sicily.

Italian police in the southern region of Sicily recently discovered a cache of drugs plastered with the faces of well-known Costa Nostra leaders. 

Carabinieri police said Tuesday that authorities discovered around $215,000 worth of hash, marijuana and cocaine from a warehouse in Marsala. 

On several packages of hash wrapped in cellophane were the faces Mafia bosses Matteo Messina Denaro, Toto Riina, and the Godfather movie character. 

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Denaro, Italy’s most wanted fugitive, was arrested in January at a health clinic in Palermo, Sicily after 30 years on the run. He was considered the top boss of Sicily’s Cosa Nostra, even while a fugitive and had a power base in the port city of Trapani, in western Sicily. Messina Denaro was the last of three longtime fugitive top-level Mafia bosses who had evaded authorities for decades.

Salvatore "Toto" Riina, once dubbed the Sicilian Mafia’s "capo dei cappi," or "boss of bosses" died in 2017 at the age of 87. 

Both men had been serving life sentences for a series of brutal murders including, in Messina Denaro’s case, the killing of a teen boy whose body was dissolved in acid. 

Police had been surveilling the warehouse where the cache of drugs was discovered. A 28-year-old man with no criminal record was seen leaving the warehouse and was arrested on drug-related charges after officers found 50 grams of pure cocaine in his pocket. 

Authorities seized 13 kilograms of hashish, 700 grams of pure cocaine, and 700 grams of marijuana. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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