Plot Thickens as Toronto Mayor Linked to Inmate

Rob Ford in mysterious after-hours visit to prison

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 12, 2013 12:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – The latest bizarre detail about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford involves a late-night visit to a jail back in March. Ford arrived and asked for a tour of the Toronto West Detention Centre about three hours after visiting hours ended, and was denied. He then specifically asked to meet with Bruno Bellissimo, multiple sources including Bellissimo's mom tell the Globe and Mail, and was denied again. Bellissimo was an inmate at the time for assaulting his parents; sources say the 43-year-old has had run-ins with police and has been in trouble for drugs.

Correctional officials found the visit odd, and emailed the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services about it, sources say. The question now, in the wake of Ford's crack video scandal, is what exactly his ties are to Bellissimo and others involved in the illegal drug trade. Bellissimo and Ford were classmates and have been friends since they were about seven, Bellissimo's mom says; neighbors say they've seen Ford at the Bellissimo residence. Another classmate and longtime friend of Ford, Fabio Basso, lives in a bungalow where Ford was recently pictured with three alleged members of a drug-dealing gang; that picture has also not been explained, nor has Ford's presence at the bungalow, where a violent home invasion occurred in May.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks at a news conference to address the media at city hall in Toronto on Thursday, June 20, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks at a news conference to address the media at city hall in Toronto on Thursday, June 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
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