Mobster ‘Bobby’ DeLuca poised to plead guilty in 1993 murder case

Broward County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Robert DeLuca

BOSTON (WPRI) – Rhode Island mobster Robert “Bobby” DeLuca is poised to plead guilty to charges that he lied to investigators about what he knew of a 1993 gangland slaying.

A change of plea hearing has been scheduled for next month. DeLuca, 71, is facing obstruction of justice and making false statement charges following an indictment in June.

Prosecutors say DeLuca lied to them about what he knew of the 1993 murder of Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro.

Investigators say DiSarro was strangled by the son of former mob boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, while an associate – Paul Weadick – held his legs. Salemme jr. died in 1995, but the elder Salemme and Weadick have both been charged in DiSarro’s murder.

A call to DeLuca’s attorney, Carlos Dominguez, was not immediately returned.

Court paperwork show DeLuca – who is a capo in the Patriarca crime family – has talked to investigators about what he knew of the murder.

In the interview with a Massachusetts State Police detective, DeLuca said he met with then-mob boss Salemme in 1993, prior to DiSarro’s disappearance. DeLuca said Salemme told him he suspected DiSarro was stealing from the Channel nightclub, where investigators say Salemme was a silent partner.

“According to Deluca, he told Salemme Senior to ‘get rid of him,’” Fanning wrote in the affidavit. “Deluca stated that Salemme was going to have ‘Frankie Boy’ take care of it.”

DeLuca told the detective that about a week or two after the murder, he received “a coded page” from Salemme who told him DeLuca “had to be ready to receive a package and that he should dig a hole in advance.”

“Deluca understood ‘package’ to mean a body, but was unsure about the victim’s identity,” the affidavit states. “DeLuca believed that he could not refuse to get involved in the disposal of the body because to do so would result in his own death.”

He told the detective he and his brother Joseph took custody of the body in North Providence and they later disposed of it behind a mill building at 715 Branch Ave. in Providence.

Joseph DeLuca has not been charged in this case.

As Target 12 first reported, DiSarro’s body was exhumed from behind the Branch Avenue mill building this March, rekindling the investigation into DiSarro’s death.

The building is owned by William Ricci, who authorities have identified as an associate of DeLuca and was charged in a separate federal drug case.

DeLuca’s change of plea hearing is set for Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. at federal court in Boston.

Details of any plea agreement have not yet been filed with the courts.

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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