PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Convicted former Mafia don Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme has been moved to a prison medical facility because of his advanced age, according to his attorney.
Salemme is listed as 85 years old on the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) website, but his lawyer, Steven Boozang, said the former mob boss is “closer to 88.”
Salemme is serving a life sentence after he was found guilty last year of taking part in the 1993 murder of Boston nightclub owner — and Providence native — Steven DiSarro.
Salemme had been held at a federal prison in Brooklyn until his recent move to a medical prison in Springfield, Missouri. The facility is described as an “administrative security federal medical center,” on their website.
Boozang said he wasn’t sure when authorities moved Salemme, but the BOP’s online database showed the octogenarian in Brooklyn as recently as last week.
An email to a prison spokesperson was not immediately returned.
Boozang said at Salemme’s age the Brooklyn prison was “a tough place,” and the BOP moved him to a facility that can better handle elderly inmates.
“Being shot as many times as he had and survived, there are some remnants that catch up with you later in life,” Boozang said. “He should be in a medical place being monitored for normal age-related type of conditions.”
Salemme was convicted in June along with mob associate Paul Weadick. The two were each charged with murder of a witness. Prosecutors say Salemme was concerned DiSarro would cooperate with investigators in an ongoing probe into a nightclub DiSarro managed. Salemme and his son were silent partners in the club.
Rhode Island mob brothers Robert and Joseph DeLuca were key witnesses at the trial at U.S. District Court in Boston.
Salemme has appealed the verdict and Boozang said his client is in “great spirits” and optimistic about his chances.
“Frank is strong and plugging along,” Boozang said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
In 1989, Salemme was shot by rival mobsters multiple times outside a Saugus, Massachusetts, pancake house. His survival helped cement his underworld legacy and elevate him to boss. Salemme’s tenure ended when he was indicted in 1995.