PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - For the first time in more than 14 years, reputed PatriarcaCrime Family captain Robert “Bobby” DeLuca, is afree man.
Shortly before 11 a.m. Friday morning, DeLuca walked into adowntown federal building with his attorney Artin Coloian toofficially end his federal probation. Minutes later, clutching whatfederal probation officials call “a letter ofsatisfaction” DeLuca strolled out without comment.
His probation will end one minute after midnight on September20th.
DeLuca was arrested in 1995, caught up in a sweeping federalinvestigation that also accused mob enforcer Gerard Ouimette. Thepair was found guilty of trying to extort $50,000 from Providencebusinessman Paulie Calenda.
The mid-90s were a tough stretch for DeLuca, legally speaking.He was also snared in a federal investigation out of Boston alongwith JamesJ. "Whitey" Bulger, leader of Boston's Winter Hill Gang andnotorious hit-man Stephen"The Rifleman" Flemmi.
DeLuca had already been given a suspended sentence after a RhodeIsland State Police sting into organized criminal gambling. In all,he spent more than 12 years in federal and state prisons beforegetting out on work release.
“He did his time, cooperated and did the rightthing,” said federal probation official Barry Weiner.“Everything came off clean; he’s off and on hisway.”
Weiner said before handing a former inmate the letter ofsatisfaction, the Feds perform an electronic inquiry into criminalrecords to make sure there is nothing outstanding.
“Or nothing we don’t know about,” Weinersaid.
DeLuca, who was the alleged target of a recent murder-for-hireplot involving fellow capo Anthony "The Saint" St. Laurent,burst onto the scene in 1989 when his induction in the Patriarcacrime family was caught on FBI wiretap. The infamous tape secretlyrecorded in a Medford, Massachusetts home, was used in countlesscourt hearings to prove the existence of La Cosa Nostra.
"That's an organized criminal family whose sworn oath isbasically to break laws," said RhodeIsland State Police Lt. Col. Steven G. O'Donnell, a veteranorganized crime fighter. "You don't leave that organizationvoluntarily."
Investigators say DeLuca quickly rose through the mob ranks,making strong ties to the Gambino crime family in New York andBoston mobsters. DeLuca was a close associate of one-time mob boss Francis“Cadillac Frank” Salemme.
O'Donnell said, however, Friday's release from the squeeze ofthe Federal Bureau of Prisons doesn't mean law enforcement isn'tkeeping tabs on DeLuca.
"We wish him the best," O'Donnell said. "We hope he stays on thestraight and narrow and if he's not we'll be there waiting forhim."
Copyright WPRI 12
UPDATE: The owner of a debris-covered South Providence lot that was recently fined by the city receives just under $170,000 per month.
The suspected robber in a hold-up at a convenience store was caught by police trying to board a plane.
BREAKING NEWS: Providence police have identified the victim who was shot and killed Wednesday as 16-year-old Eric Cuesta of Providence. Police have also charged a man with his murder.
A fire broke out early Wednesday evening at the Amtrol building on Division Road in West Warwick.
A man was found dead in a carbon monoxide-filled home in Coventry Wednesday night, according to police and firefighters.