November 4, 2016 / 1:45 PM / 3 years ago

Ex-Boston mobster pleads guilty to lying about 1993 killing

BOSTON (Reuters) - A former Boston mobster pleaded guilty on Friday to charges that he lied to investigators about the 1993 killing of a former nightclub manager whose body was found earlier this year.

Robert DeLuca, 70, was arrested in June and charged with lying about the slaying of Steven DiSarro, a former nightclub manager believed to have been killed by Boston mobsters on suspicion he had been talking to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Denise Casper set a Feb. 1 sentencing date for DeLuca. He could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, though his actual sentence could be significantly lighter due to his guilty plea.

DeLuca is one of three ex-gangsters arrested following the discovery of DiSarro’s body behind an old Rhode Island mill building. Francis “Cadillac” Salemme, 83, and Paul Weadick, 61, were arrested this summer and charged with murdering DiSarro.

Federal prosecutors had long suspected that gangsters killed DiSarro but were unable to build a case until the discovery of his body.

James “Whitey” Bulger, a former mob boss who ruled Boston’s criminal underworld for a quarter of a century, named the men as suspects in the killing more than a decade ago, an attorney for Weadick said at a court proceeding in September.

According to court papers filed earlier this week, DeLuca will plead guilty both to the charges of lying about DiSarro’s killing and to conspiring to have another man murdered in Rhode Island at about the same time.

DeLuca said Salemme discussed DiSarro’s killing, telling DeLuca to dig a hole and be ready to receive a “package,” Massachusetts State Trooper John Fanning, who is involved in the case, testified in September.

“Bobby DeLuca knew that package to be a body,” Fanning testified.

Salemme and Weadick have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Paul Simao and Richard Chang

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