PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - The unnamed made member of the Mafia who wore an FBI wire in a sweeping organized crime case was himself indicted and threatened with arrest before he agreed to cooperate with investigators, the Target 12 Investigators have learned.
In court documents filed this week, prosecutors William Ferland and Samuel Nazzaro say the made member of the mob was confronted on Feb. 12, 2011, with the pending charges and about to be placed in handcuffs. The individual was implicated in an extortion scheme to shake down a Johnston used car salesman for $25,000, according to the court documents.
"The FBI indicated to the [New England La Cosa Nostra] Made Member that he could cooperate with them and that such cooperation would be brought to the Court's attention for its consideration in determining an appropriate sentence to impose," prosecutors wrote in the filing. "Made Member thereafter agreed to cooperate."
Jim Martin, a spokesperson for the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney's said because the matter remains under seal, they cannot comment.
Prosecutors have not disclosed the identity of the made mobster, but in a court filing earlier this month defense attorneys revealed the person has the initials "RD." That revelation has further fueled speculation that reputed capo regime Robert "Bobby" DeLuca is the cooperating witness.
Earlier this month, Martin declined to comment on whether DeLuca is working with law enforcement. Target 12 has learned DeLuca disappeared from Rhode Island around August 2011. According to the court filing, the made member of the mob was wearing a wire for the FBI as late as June 2011.
Boston tribute payments
The 22-page filing also reveals a conversation between the cooperating made member and another high-ranking member of the Rhode Island mob, discussing "tribute payments" being made to the current mob boss in Boston.
According to a transcript in the court filing, reputed capo regime Edward "Eddy" Lato and the cooperating witness met on Feb. 25, 2011, at a McDonald's in North Providence and discussed the payments.
Lato: "He passes it all out ... he told me. I said, what?"
Lato: "You give all this away. He gives all that money away."
Lato: "What a spaccone. The other guy, his guy, ah, Mark, ah, and the other big kid, what's his name? The other one that got pinched with Mark."
Witness: "Oh, Darren. [sic]"
Lato: "Darren [sic]. What the [expletive], what do you keep for yourself... you got to keep this money for yourself, are you nuts?"
Witness: "So what's the sense..."
Lato: "So we're bringing you money and you're giving it away like [expletive] candy."
Witness: "And we're taking the shot."
Prosecutors said the tribute money came from extortion payments made by the Cadillac Lounge strip club.
"Their conversation then delved into their frustration over the fact that they send their tribute to the current Boss 'Anthony' and he then passes [it] out among other NELCN figures including Mark Rosetti and Darin Bufalino," Ferland wrote in the court filing. "Lato then explained to the Made Member that his frustration is exacerbated by the fact that he believes that he is taking all the risk of being observed by law enforcement."
Lato's misgivings turned out to be well-founded: he was arrested last September and has been incarcerated at the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls ever since.
In 2010, Rosetti and Bufalino were charged in a Massachusetts State Police sting along with 29 other people. They were accused of being part of a major organized crime operation that committed crimes such as extortion, drug trafficking, robberies and assaults.
Authorities have not officially identified the new boss of the Patriarca crime family, but law enforcement sources tell Target 12 the new boss is Anthony DiNunzio, brother of incarcerated former underboss Carmen "The Big Cheese" DiNunzio.
Sources say Anthony DiNunzio allegedly took over from Boston's Peter Limone after Limone was scooped up in a gambling investigation.
Mob trial looming
The U.S. Attorney's filing this week came in response to a request by accused mob associate Albino Folcarelli to remove some of the secret FBI recordings from trial. Folcarelli is accused of being part of the shakedown scheme of the used car salesman. U.S. District Court Judge William Smith has not set a hearing to decide on the motion.
Folcarelli and accused mob associate Theodore Cardillo are the two holdouts still heading for a May trial - neither man has signed on to a plea deal with prosecutors.
Six other defendants, including the reputed former mob boss Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, have pleaded guilty. Manocchio, 84, of Providence, will be sentenced on May 11 on a single count of racketeering conspiracy; seven other counts were dropped as part of the deal.
Lato, who turns 65 on Thursday, has also agreed to plead guilty to racketeering conspiracy.
Prosecutors accuse Manocchio, Lato and several others of shaking down strip clubs for protection money in a scheme that allegedly netted the crime family up to $1.5 million.
WPRI.com reporter Ted Nesi contributed to this report
The CEO of Rhode Island's top insurer called local Obamacare enrollment "disappointing" so far.
BREAKING: Battle-fatigued and suddenly bipartisan, the House voted Thursday night to ease across-the-board federal spending cuts and prevent future government shutdowns.
The EPA and DEP take the initial steps toward cleaning up a sprawling mill complex that was threatened by a fire nearly two years ago.
The House seat formerly occupied by Lisa Baldelli-Hunt is officially empty and up for grabs, as election officials began accepting declarations for candidacy on Thursday.
The Rhode Island Foundation is hunting for innovators. The deadline is Friday to apply to receive a 2014 Innovation Fellowship, a program that awards $300,000 over a period of three years to two projects meant to address the state's …