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Feds: DeLuca to implicate former New England mob boss in unsolved murder

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Federal prosecutors in Boston say mobster-turned-government witness Robert “Bobby” DeLuca will testify that former mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio played a key role in a 1992 gangland slaying.

According to court documents filed in a separate upcoming mob murder trial, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said DeLuca is expected to testify that former mob boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme ordered the murder of enforcer Kevin Hanrahan in 1992 because “Hanrahan was suspected of a plot to kill Salemme.”

“DeLuca passed Salemme’s order to then [New England La Cosa Nostra] underboss Louis Manocchio who organized the murder of Hanrahan,” prosecutors wrote. 

Kevin Hanrahan was gunned down leaving a Federal Hill restaurant on Sept. 18, 1992. Last year, DeLuca – who is cooperating with the government in several cases – pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his role in the crime. DeLuca reached a plea deal with prosecutors and is scheduled to be sentenced after the Boston trial wraps up.

DeLuca is also working with federal investigators in Boston and is on the list of witnesses expected to testify against Salemme, who is facing a murder charge for the 1993 slaying of Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro.

The actual triggerman in the Hanrahan slaying has never been charged, but as Target 12 previously reported, longtime mob capo Edward “Eddie” Lato is also a suspect in the crime. He is currently in federal prison from another case and is scheduled to be released in 2019.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General Peter Kilmartin declined to answer questions about whether Manocchio is also a suspect in the Hanrahan case and if other charges are anticipated.

“The case remains under active investigation,” Amy Kempe wrote in an email.

Steven O’Donnell, a law enforcement analyst for Eyewitness News who used to investigate organized crime for the R.I. State Police, said DeLuca’s rocky history with the truth makes him a challenging witness for prosecutors.

“Everything goes back to credibility,” O’Donnell said. “If it’s true or not true, it’s something that the prosecutors have to figure out. If it makes it past the prosecutors, a jury would have to figure that out.” 

Manocchio, 90, was released from federal prison in 2015 after serving five years for extortion and conspiracy charges for shaking down strip clubs for protection money.

Attempts to reach Manocchio through his attorney in that case were unsuccessful.

DeLuca has pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to investigators about what he knew of the DiSarro murder.

Through court filings, prosecutors have revealed that DeLuca will testify Salemme asked him to dispose of DiSarro’s body. DiSarro’s remains were exhumed from behind a Branch Avenue mill building in Providence in March 2016. The building was owned by William Ricci, an associate of DeLuca’s.

Tim White twhite@wpri.com ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook

This report has been modified from its original to clarify the state sentencing for DeLuca.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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