Providence VA Service Representative Indicted on Federal Extortion, Bribery, Witness Tampering Charges
BOSTON – A former New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN) caporegime was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for obstructing a federal investigation into the murder of a Boston nightclub owner in the 1990s.
Robert P. DeLuca, 72, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 66 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In November 2016, DeLuca pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements.
DeLuca was charged with lying to federal prosecutors and agents regarding the investigation into the 1993 disappearance of Stephen DiSarro, who operated The Channel, a South Boston nightclub. DiSarro remained missing until March 2016, when authorities discovered his remains behind a mill in Providence, R.I.
In 2011, DeLuca had agreed to cooperate with federal authorities after his arrest on racketeering charges. In connection with his cooperation, DeLuca had lied about his knowledge of DiSarro’s disappearance and other LCN-connected murders. As a result, DiSarro’s remains were not recovered until federal authorities received information from another source in March 2016 regarding DiSarro’s burial site.
In June 2018, Francis P. Salemme, 84, and Paul M. Weadick, 63, were convicted of murdering DiSarro, who, at the time of his death, was a witness to violations of federal law by Salemme and Weadick. DiSarro had been approached by a federal agent and asked to cooperate with federal authorities. At the time, there were several ongoing federal investigations into Salemme and into Salemme’s connection to The Channel. Salemme had expressed his concerns to others that DiSarro might cooperate against him. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled Salemme’s and Weadick’s sentencings for Sept. 13, 2018.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch for the District of Rhode Island; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Ann C. Assumpico made the announcement today. Assistance was also provided by the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Providence, R.I. Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Fred M. Wyshak Jr., Chief of Lelling’s Public Corruption Unit, and William J. Ferland, Chief of Dambruch’s Criminal Division, prosecuted the case.