Rhode Island mobster DeLuca to be returned to Northeast

Broward County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Robert DeLuca

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Five years after Robert “Bobby” DeLuca vanished from the streets of Providence, the veteran mobster is coming home.

Or close to it.

On Thursday DeLuca waived his right to a bail hearing in Florida Thursday and will be returned to Boston to faces charges.

According to court documents from a hearing late Thursday morning before a federal judge in Fort Lauderdale, DeLuca, 70, signed a “waiver of removal hearing,” which means he will likely be handed over to the U.S. Marshals Service for transport back to the Northeast.

The court filing states DeLuca consents “to the issuance of a warrant for my removal to the District of Massachusetts where the aforesaid charge is pending against me.”

DeLuca’s attorney in Florday, Marshall Dore Louis, said his client was in court but declined to comment on why DeLuca decided to avoid a detention hearing, which would have given the judge an option to issue bail.

DeLuca faces three counts including obstruction of justice and making false statements for allegedly lying to the FBI about what he knew of the 1993 murder of Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro.

Investigators from the Rhode Island and Massachusetts state police were with the FBI when DeLuca was taken into custody on Monday. His return to the Northeast will be his first known appearance in New England since he disappeared from Rhode Island in 2011.

It’s now known DeLuca agreed to cooperate with the FBI to spare himself prison time from a sweeping mob crackdown that led to the conviction of former New England mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio and other made members of La Cosa Nostra and associates.

As part of his deal with the federal government then, DeLuca was interviewed twice by FBI agents about what he knew of the 1993 disappearance of Boston nightclub manager Steven DiSarro. During that questioning, an indictment unsealed Monday, alleges DeLuca claimed he knew nothing about what happened to DiSarro.

But investigators say not only did DeLuca know, he suggested the location for DiSarro’s grave.

The 43 year-old Westwood man – who grew up in Providence – was killed by former New England mob boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, and his son Frank, on May 10, 1993.

Salemme’s son died in 1995.

No one has ever been charged for DiSarro’s murder, though the elder Salemme was indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston on two counts of obstruction of justice in 2004 for making false statements about what he knew about the murder.

“Salemme arranged with the defendant DeLuca to dispose of the body at a location in Providence, Rhode Island,” the indictment against DeLuca states. “Shortly after the murder of DiSarro, Salemme transported DiSarro’s body to Providence, R.I., where the defendant Deluca arranged to have the body buries in the vicinity of 715 Branch Ave.”

As part of the 2011 plea agreement, prosecutors said DeLuca was supposed to “provide complete and truthful information” about what he knew of any other crimes he was involved with.

During a March 2011 questioning by FBI agents, Deluca “falsely stated” that he had “no information regarding the disappearance of Stephen DiSarro.”

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

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