Notorious Rhode Island mobster released from federal prison after serving time for hiring hitmen to kill rival
Notorious Rhode Island mobster Anthony “The Saint” St. Laurent has been released from federal prison.
St. Laurent, 75, of Johnston, was serving seven years for attempting to hire men to murder rival mobster Robert “Bobby” DeLuca.
The U.S. Marshals Service in Rhode Island confirmed St. Laurent’s release Wednesday from Fort Devens federal prison in Ayer, Massachusetts, but declined to provide details on where the aging mobster was going.
Justin Long, a spokesperson from the Federal Bureau of Prisons also confirmed St. Laurent’s release but declined to say more.
“This office does not provide additional information on individuals who are not in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons,” Long wrote in an email.
St. Laurent’s release wraps up a 12-year stint in prison, including a previous a five-year sentence in a separate extortion case.
The admitted mobster had been identified as a capo regime in the Patriarca crime family.
During St. Laurent’s September 2011 sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge William Smith said he was conflicted about its length because of the elderly man’s advanced age and ill health.
St. Laurent told the judge his “intention was just to scare Mr. DeLuca.”
“I made a grave mistake,” St. Laurent said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been able to spend time with my wife and family.”
Suffering from a host of medical conditions, St. Laurent sat in a wheelchair and used oxygen at the sentencing. The courtroom was cleared for 10 minutes while lawyers discussed his medical condition with the judge.
At St. Laurent’s Johnston home, a new wheelchair ramp appeared to have just been installed. An unidentified woman on the other side of the door told a reporter, “we have no comment.”
Former Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven O’Donnell had investigated St. Laurent for years, and arrested the mobster at his Johnston home in the early 1990s.
“This is a notorious gangster whose criminal activities go back decades,” O’Donnell said. “His propensity for violence is well known throughout those he surrounds himself with.”
He said he hopes prison rehabilitated St. Laurent.
Federal prosecutors said St. Laurent twice – in 2006 and 2007 – tried to hire two men to gun down DeLuca as he walked into former Providence restaurant Sidebar where DeLuca worked during his probation.
The Target 12 Investigators obtained the secret recordings from one of the wiretapped murder-for-hire attempts. In it, St. Laurent can be heard telling the would-be hit men that he had permission from then-mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio to pull off the hit.
“No repercussions. If you want, after it’s done, I’ll take you to him,” St. Laurent is heard saying on the tape. “And my word should be good enough.”
DeLuca was scooped up by state police for his safety. He later became an informant for the FBI in a separate 2011 case that took down Manocchio.
Target 12 has since learned DeLuca was living in Florida until he was picked up by federal agents and charged with lying to investigators about what he knew of a 1992 gangland slaying.
DeLuca is now in custody and has pledged to plead guilty and has talked with investigators. He is scheduled to be sentenced in November at federal court in Boston.
Earlier this year St. Laurent’s son, Anthony St. Laurent Jr., was released from prison. The two men as well as the elder St. Laurent’s wife were charged in a separate federal case that alleged the family ran a lucrative extortion ring shaking down bookmakers.
Court documents reveal the family took in between $800,000 and $1.5 million in protection payments from Massachusetts bookmakers after their scheme began in 1988.
St. Laurent will now serve three years of probation.