Mobster DeLuca pleads not guilty to charges linked to 1993 murder

Mobster Robert DeLuca, foreground, seen with his then-attorney Artin Coloian outside Providence federal court 2009.

BOSTON (WPRI) — A veteran Rhode Island mobster was arraigned in a federal courtroom in Boston Thursday on charges related to the 1993 murder of a Massachusetts businessman.

Robert “Bobby” DeLuca, who was arrested in Florida two weeks ago, pleaded not guilty to one count of obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements. The charges are connected to the murder of Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro, whose body was found buried in Providence in March.

Target 12 was in the courtroom as DeLuca walked in wearing an orange Plymouth County Correctional Facility jumpsuit for the brief hearing.

According to the federal indictment aimed at DeLuca, in June of 2011 he was interviewed by investigators about the DiSarro murder. Investigators allege DeLuca denied knowing anything about DiSarro’s murder 23 years ago. DiSarro was 43 at the time.

As Target 12 was first to report, FBI agents began digging in March for human remains behind a mill building on Branch Avenue. Last month, the body they found was positively identified as DiSarro.

The indictment states DeLuca arranged to dump the body in Rhode Island – after DiSarro was murdered by mobsters Frank Salemme and his son Frank, Junior.

Neither DeLuca’s attorney nor prosecutors would comment after the arraignment.

Prosecutors told the court they would call about 20 witnesses for a trial that they expect would last about two weeks.

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