Thursday, May 31, 2018

Bobby DeLuca Faces Blistering Cross-Examination at "Cadillac Frank" Salemme Mob Trial

Defense attorneys hacked away at the credibility of Rhode Island mobster Robert "Bobby" DeLuca during blistering cross-examination at federal court in Boston on Wednesday.

DeLuca, 72, told jurors on day one of his testimony that in 1993 then-mob boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme told him he needed to dispose of the body of Steven DiSarro, a Boston nightclub owner who investigators say was strangled in Salemme’s Sharon, Massachusetts, home.

DeLuca said he and his brother Joseph DeLuca (who would later be inducted into the crime family by Salemme) followed through on mafia don's order, or they risked grave consequences. “We didn’t want to get killed,” DeLuca said.

One of Salemme’s lawyers, Elliot Weinstein, pressed DeLuca on his lying to federal investigators in 2011 about what he knew of the DiSarro murder. DeLuca has pleaded guilty to perjury and making false statements in that case and will be sentenced later this year.

“You lie to people and they didn’t know you were lying, correct?" Weinstein asked. “That’s correct,” DeLuca said.

After cooperating in a 2011 case that brought down nine members and associates of the New England crime family, DeLuca moved to Florida with his wife and kids. DeLuca said he got out of Rhode Island for his safety and that of his family. But he said he refused the government's offer to be entered into the federal witness protection program.

Weinstein asked DeLuca if he received nearly $64,000 in payments from the federal government in relocation expenses for several years starting in 2011 to fund the move. DeLuca said he didn’t know how much, but did admit he gambled while living in Florida.

Weinstein asked if he gambled with government funds. "I don’t know what pocket the government’s money was in, and what pocket my money was in,” DeLuca said.

DeLuca said he is now locked up in a secure federal facility for his protection - as he awaits sentencing - and refused to say where when Weinstein asked the location. But he did say it was a better facility than the Plymouth County Correctional Facility in Massachusetts, where he was placed when he was arrested in 2016. “Anything is better than Plymouth,” he said.

DeLuca said he hasn’t made up his mind if he will go into the witness protection program after he is sentenced in the DiSarro case and for pleading guilty to conspiracy in the 1992 murder of mob enforceer Kevin Hanrahan.

Asked if he expects the government to ask a judge for leniency for cooperating when he is sentenced, Deluca said, “I’m hoping they do."

At the end of the day, DeLuca became frustrated with defense attorney Mark Shea – who represents Paul Weadick – over the meaning of wording in transcripts from grand jury testimony.

Shea waived the paperwork in front of DeLuca and told him to read the testimony. “I’m not going to read nothing,” DeLuca snapped. “I know what I’m talking about.”

U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs decided to recess for the day after the heated exchange. DeLuca is expected back on the stand today.

Salemme, 84, and Weadick, 62, are each charged with murder of witness for the DiSarro killing. Prosecutors have said Salemme - and his late son Frank Salemme, Jr. - feared Disarro was going to cooperate with the FBI. Salemme and Weadick have pleaded not guilty. Salemme Jr. died in 1995 of lymphoma.

Thanks to Tim White.

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