Rhode Island

Salemme Jurors Get Glimpse Into Organized Crime World

A former mobster from Rhode Island took the stand to testify against his former boss, Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, aiding prosecutors in their efforts to convict Salemme of a murder that took place decades ago.

“We had a little talk,” Robert “Bobby” DeLuca told jurors of a conversation with Salemme back in 1993. That was when DeLuca said Salemme told him that someone connected to their work was stealing from them and cooperating with the authorities.

“I said 'get rid of him,'” DeLuca admitted on the stand in federal court Tuesday.

Not soon after, Steven DiSarro wound up dead. According to DeLuca, Salemme’s son strangled him and they then wanted DeLuca to dispose of the body.

“He said that was Steven DiSarro,” DeLuca told jurors. “And he wasn’t just stealing money, he was giving information. He was an informant.”

A couple days later, DeLuca said Salemme brought Disarro’s body to Providence, where DeLuca then instructed his brother to bury it behind a mill.

The testimony was difficult for family of DiSarro in the courtroom, who broke down in tears as the killing was described in detail.

Salemme, who led the New England family of La Cosa Nostra in the early 1990s, whispered quietly to his attorneys throughout the testimony, occasionally smiling and shaking his head.

Before court adjourned for the day, Salemme’s defense team began their cross examination. They focused heavily on the plea deal DeLuca struck with prosecutors to testify, arguing he is only giving his testimony in hopes of being released from prison to be with his children.

DeLuca will return to the stand when the trial resumes Wednesday morning.

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