Doc: Four RI men given immunity in gangland slaying case against former mob boss

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Four Rhode Island men have been granted immunity by federal prosecutors in a murder case against a former mob boss.

Joseph DeLuca, brother to imprisoned mobster Robert “Bobby” DeLuca, mob associates Charles “Harpo” Garabedian, Richard Cinquegrana and William Ricci, have been granted immunity by prosecutors in a case pending against Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, according to a court document filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Joseph DeLuca was named in a prior affidavit by a Massachusetts State Police detective who said he was identified as one of the men who helped bury the body of former Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro. In the document, the detective said he interviewed DeLuca who said he and his brother met Salemme in North Providence in 1993 to pick-up DiSarro’s body, then buried him in Providence.

DeLuca is facing charges that he lied to investigators about what he knew of the gangland slaying. A spokesperson for the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office said DeLuca has pledged to plead guilty at a hearing on October 25 in Boston.

DiSarro’s remains were exhumed from behind a Providence mill building in March breathing life into a case that has been dormant since 1993.

Cinquegrana, Garabedian and Ricci have all been identified by law enforcement as close associates of Robert DeLuca’s. Ricci owned the mill building where DiSarro’s body was discovered.

Ricci was arrested in 2015 for taking part in a massive marijuana growing operation taking place inside his mill building. As part of a plea deal the drug charges were dropped but he pleaded guilty to a weapons charge. He is set to be sentenced in October.

The document outlining immunity for the various players was filed Friday as part of a list of evidence prosecutors plan to present against Salemme.

In it states: “Charles Garabedian has denied any involvement in the disposal of Steven DiSarro’s remains.”

Salemme was charged in August. He had been living in Atlanta in the Witness Protection Program under the assumed identity of Richard Parker. He was picked up by FBI agents in Connecticut in August. The court document said Salemme was found in a hotel room with a large amount of cash.

“A search of defendant Salemme’s hotel room incident to his arrest revealed that he was in possession of a large sum of United States currency as well as numerous personal effects indicating that he was fleeing prosecution,” prosecutors wrote.

Reached by phone, Salemme’s attorney Steven Boozang declined to comment.

Also charged in the murder of DiSarro is Salemme associate Paul Weadick. Investigators say Salemme’s son, Frank Salemme Jr. (who died in 1995) and Weadick killed DiSarro at Salemme’s Sharon Massachusetts’ home.

The court filing provided some light as to the possible motivation behind the killing.

“There is evidence that in addition to believing that Steven DiSarro would cooperate with federal authorities against the Salemmes,” the court filing states. “[B]oth Frank Salemme and his son made statements that they believed that DiSarro was stealing from them.”

Tim White ( ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook