The one-time boss of the New England Mafia, Francis P. “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, was charged in an indictment unsealed Friday along with a second man for the 1993 murder of a Boston nightclub owner whose body authorities exhumed this spring behind a Providence mill building.
Investigators arrested Salemme, now 83, last month in a Connecticut hotel. He ran the New England mob during the early 1990s.
In March investigators, acting on a tip, exhumed the body of Steven A. DiSarro from behind a building off Branch Avenue owned by William Ricci, who is awaiting sentencing on federal drug charges and who authorities have said had ties to the mob.
Salemme and Paul Weadick, 61, of Burlington, were indicted on one count of murder of a federal witness. Weadick was arrested Friday and was scheduled to appear before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Donald. L. Cabell in Boston this afternoon.
The indictment alleges that on May 10, 1993, Salemme and Weadick murdered DiSarro to prevent DiSarro from communicating with federal law enforcement officials about violations of federal laws by Salemme and others.
Shortly after the murder, Salemme took DiSarro’s body to Providence, where his associates arranged to have it buried behind the mill off Branch Avenue.
DiSarro was murdered, authorities say, after his relationship with Salemme and Salemme’s son, Francis P. Salemme, Jr., became the subject of federal investigation. Part of that investigation revolved around the operation of a South Boston night club known as The Channel. Weadick was a close associate of Salemme, Jr.
Salemme was the boss of the New England La Cosa Nostra during the early 1990’s until his indictment for racketeering in 1995 and conviction in 1999. He was subsequently convicted of obstruction of justice in 2008 for lying to federal authorities about the murder of DiSarro.
The discovery of DiSarro’s body resulted in another crime figure brought back before a judge in recent months.
In July, a longtime capo in the Patriarca crime family, Robert P. “Bobby” DeLuca Sr., 70, appeared in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and later returned to Massachusetts to face charges that he lied to agents about his knowledge of in DiSarro’s murder. DeLuca is charged with obstructing justice.