Showing posts with label Joseph DeLuca. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joseph DeLuca. Show all posts

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Cadillac Frank Salemme, Former Mafia Don, Faces Life Sentence for 1993 Murder of Steven DiSarro

Twenty-five years after South Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro was strangled and buried in an unmarked grave, a former Mafia don and a local plumber are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday for the slaying.

Former New England Mafia boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, 85, and Paul M. Weadick, 63, face mandatory life sentences for killing DiSarro in 1993 to prevent him from cooperating in a federal investigation targeting the mobster and his son.

After the pair were convicted in June, DiSarro’s son, Nick, said he was grateful to the jury for giving his family justice after so many years. “This is the end of such a long road,” he said. “To close this book is just a really important step for our family.”

The convictions followed a five-week trial in US District Court in Boston that was a flashback to a bygone era, when the Italian La Cosa Nostra and James “Whitey” Bulger’s Irish mob were the region’s most feared criminal groups.

DiSarro was a businessman who bought the Channel, a now defunct rock ‘n’ roll club on Necco Street, in the early 1990s. Salemme and his son had a hidden interest in the club and were being targeted by federal and state investigators at the time.

On May 10, 1993, DiSarro, a 43-year-old father of five, disappeared after his wife saw him climb into an SUV outside their Westwood home. His whereabouts were a mystery until the FBI found his remains two years ago, buried behind an old mill in Providence.

Salemme, who became a government witness himself six years after the killing of DiSarro, was in the federal witness protection program when DiSarro’s hidden grave was discovered in 2016, leading to his arrest.

The government’s star witness during the trial was Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, who is serving a life sentence for 10 murders. He testified that he dropped by Salemme’s Sharon home on May 10, 1993, and saw Salemme’s son, Frank, strangling DiSarro while Weadick held his legs and Salemme looked on.

Salemme’s son died in 1995.

Flemmi said Salemme told him that he knew DiSarro had been approached by federal agents and feared he would cooperate in a federal investigation targeting him and his son.

Two former Rhode Island mobsters, brothers Robert DeLuca and Joseph DeLuca, testified that they helped bury DiSarro’s body after Salemme personally delivered it to Providence. Last month, Robert DeLuca was sentenced to 5½ years in prison for lying to investigators about DiSarro’s murder when he initially began cooperating with authorities in 2011. He only revealed details of the crime after a drug dealer led authorities to DiSarro’s remains.

Salemme is one of Boston’s last old-school mobsters, a criminal turned federal witness whose many former associates are now dead or in prison.

He survived the gang wars of the 1960s — a decade during which he admittedly killed eight people and was convicted of maiming an Everett lawyer by blowing up his car.

He spent nearly 16 years in prison for that attempted murder and became a “made man” after his release in 1988. The following year, he was shot in the chest and leg outside a Saugus pancake house by a renegade mob faction and survived to become boss of the New England Patriarca crime family.

In 1995, Salemme was indicted in a sweeping federal racketeering case, along with Bulger, Flemmi, and others. Four years later, after learning that Bulger and Flemmi were longtime FBI informants, Salemme began cooperating with the government and helped send retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. to prison.

He was admitted to the federal witness protection program and was living in Atlanta as Richard Parker when his past came back to haunt him. The discovery of DiSarro’s hidden grave in 2016 led to Salemme’s arrest for murder.

Thanks to Shelley Murphy.

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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