One-time New England mob consigliere Rocco (Shaky) Argenti helped former Patriarca crime family underboss Robert (Bobby the Cigar) DeLuca plan the 1992 murder of Irish enforcer and hit man Kevin Hanrahan, according to court documents filed this week in connection with DeLuca’s plea to conspiracy charges related to the Hanrahan homicide. Shaky Argenti died of cancer in 2002 at 51. Those who knew Argenti describe him as equally liked and feared, traditionally a rare combination in gangland circles.

“He could have been boss, he was on a fast track up the chain of command before he got sick,” said one former FBI agent familiar with Argenti’s career in the mafia.

Pulled out of the Federal Witness Protection Program last summer, DeLuca, 71, pled no contest to conspiracy in the Hanrahan slaying Wednesday. He’s also copped to his role in the conspiracy to murder mob business front and suspected FBI informant Stevie DiSarro in May 1993, admitting to burying DiSarro’s body.

Hanrahan was shot to death in Providence, Rhode Island’s Federal Hill neighborhood leaving a dinner with several mob associates at the since-closed Arch restaurant and steakhouse on the evening of September 18, 1992. He had allegedly angered the Italian mob powers he worked for by attempting to shakedown a bookmaker who “belonged” to New England mafia captain Anthony (The Saint) St. Laurent in the weeks before his murder. St. Laurent died of natural causes late last year at 75, shortly after his release from a decade-long term behind bars.

Per DeLuca’s debriefing with federal authorities in July, he and Shaky Argenti were tasked with organizing and coordinating the Hanrahan homicide, however, weren’t the triggermen in the hit. Hanrahan was gunned down by a pair of masked assailants on his way to collect proceeds from what he thought was a “big score,” but in actuality was just a ruse to get him out in the open so he could be killed. He was invited to the dinner at the Arch by DeLuca’s right-hand man Ronnie Coppola, who was hosting the dinner and who would be killed himself less than two years later.

Coppola was observed meeting with Bobby DeLuca and fellow Patriarca clan Providence heavy Edward (Little Eddie) Lato at nearby Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Restaurant and Bar an hour after Hanrahan was banged out down the street. Deluca served as then-New England Godfather Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme’s second-in-command until the pair were indicted and jailed together in a 1995 racketeering case.

Salemme, 83, was based out of Boston. He was yanked out of the witness protection program this past summer too and has been charged with murdering DiSarro, his business partner in a South Boston nightclub, go-go bar and music venue called The Channel. Two FBI informants say Salemme was contacted by phone and told of Hanrahan’s unsanctioned extortion effort in the days prior to Hanrahan’s slaying.

Like DeLuca, Lato and Argenti, the 39-year old Hanrahan centered his criminal affairs in Rhode Island. Little Eddie Lato and Shaky Argenti rose through the ranks of the Patriarca family under infamous Providence enforcer Rudolph (Captain Rudy) Sciarra, per state police records. Sciarra died of natural causes in 2012. Today, Lato is a reputed capo and in prison for racketeering.

According to FBI surveillance logs from the 1980s and 1990s, Argenti was known to frequent Dean Auto Repairs and Monticello’s men’s clothier, both popular mob hangouts in the Providence area. Convicted of extortion tied to his shaking down of a precious metals business, Argenti did two years of prison in the late 1980s and emerged on the street to start the new decade as a sleeper in the New England mafia’s Rhode Island wing.

Through his mentor Rudy Sciarra, Argenti became closely aligned with highly-respected Providence mobster Luigi (Baby Shacks) Manocchio. Baby Shacks took over as boss in the mid-1990s and tapped Argenti as his consigliere in 1998 even though Argenti was only in his forties at the time. In 2000, Argenti and Manocchio mediated a feud in Boston between currently-incarcerated former acting boss, Anthony (Spucky) Spagnolo and then-soldiers Frederick (Freddy the Neighbor) Simone and Vincent (Dee Dee) Gioacchini, per federal court files. Simone and Gioacchini had been trying to extort a bookmaker already paying protection to Spagnolo, who was their captain at that time and was threatening to kill them and their families.

 

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