Alexander Vinogradsky’s Facebook posts share puns, poke fun at Gen Z and show off a trip to Tokyo Disneyland last year. In others, he is smiling or highlighting damaged cars in need of a tow.

But beneath the cheerful faces and overseas vacations, a constant menace lingered in Vinogradsky’s life: as a kingpin in the Toronto area’s tow truck underworld, he was a marked man.

Before he was gunned down March 28 outside a north-end Toronto plaza, he owned Paramount Towing, one of four outfits allegedly locked in a deadly turf war that prompted a major police crackdown in 2019 and 2020. The investigation prompted dozens of arrests — Vinogradsky’s included.

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    But beneath the cheerful faces and overseas vacations, a constant menace lingered in Vinogradsky’s life: as a kingpin in the Toronto area’s tow truck underworld, he was a marked man.

    Before he was gunned down March 28 outside a north-end Toronto plaza, he owned Paramount Towing, one of four outfits allegedly locked in a deadly turf war that prompted a major police crackdown in 2019 and 2020.

    The WhatsApp messages were never before the court at Commisso and Yizhak’s brief trial in June 2022 because both men were immediately acquitted after the Crown announced its case couldn’t go forward without its key witness, Salazar-Blanco.

    In spring 2020, he was swept up in the police crackdown on the Greater Toronto Area’s tow truck turf wars and faced charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit arson and a number of organized-crime offences.

    In a statement he gave to police after the incident, Vinogradsky said he felt like “a dead man with money on [his] head,” but wouldn’t say who he thought was responsible, telling officers, “I have to think about my street cred.”

    Vinogradsky went back to work running Paramount Towing, posting a photo of a damaged car on Facebook as recently as Feb. 22 — five weeks before his death — with the comment “Another day on the job” and his company’s phone number.


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