PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Once identified as a high-ranking “capo” in the New England crime family, Rhode Island mobster Robert DeLuca is now expected to testify against his former underworld boss.
In a motion filed Tuesday, prosecutors in Boston asked a judge to delay DeLuca’s sentencing day in a case in which he has already pleaded guilty, because it’s “anticipated that the defendant will testify” against former mob boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme in a separate trial next year.
Salemme, 84, was charged with murder of a witness last year for allegedly taking part in the gangland slaying of Boston nightclub manager Steven DiSarro. He has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer, Steven Boozang, has previously told Target 12 his client did not take part in DiSarro’s murder and plans to take the case to trial.
Salemme’s case is scheduled for trial in Boston in May, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak said in his motion the case “will be resolved by June 2018.”
Wyshak wrote that prosecutors plan to file a motion after DeLuca testifies to ask the judge for more leniency for providing “substantial assistance” to the government.
“At this juncture, the government is unable to file such a motion, but anticipates that it will be able to do so at the conclusion of the Salemme matter,” Wyshak wrote.
Last November, DeLuca pleaded guilty to three counts – one for obstruction of justice and two for making false statements – for lying to federal investigators about what he knew of the 1993 murder of DiSarro.
As Target 12 first reported, DiSarro’s body was exhumed from behind a Branch Avenue mill building this March. The building is owned by William Ricci, whom authorities have identified as an associate of DeLuca and who was charged in a separate federal drug case.
DeLuca, 72, formerly of Johnston, is scheduled to be sentenced later this month, but prosecutors are asking the judge to delay that until June, following the Salemme trial.
As part of the plea agreement reached with the U.S. Attorney’s office, DeLuca has also pledged to return to Rhode Island and plead guilty to his role in the brazen 1992 gangland slaying of Kevin Hanrahan.
Update (Nov. 13): A judge has granted the motion to delay DeLuca’s November sentencing. A new date has not been set.Tim White( email@example.com ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook