As Gangster Report first revealed almost a year ago, according to reports in the Rhode Island press, imprisoned New England mob captain Edward (Little Eddie) Lato is getting zeroed in on by federal authorities for his suspected role in the 1992 Providence gangland slaying of mafia associate Kevin Hanrahan. The 71-year old Lato, finishing up an eight-year stint behind bars for extortion, is scheduled to be released in 2019. He was the focus of an impaneled federal grand jury early last year and has 19 felony convictions on his record.

Hanrahan, 39, was gunned down in the late hours of September 18, 1992 leaving a dinner party at a popular steakhouse in Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood. The fierce and capable mob enforcer had reportedly been stepping on people’s toes in the New England underworld.

WPRI television investigative journalist and Patriarca crime family expert Tim White reported last week that the FBI is close to bringing charges in the Hanrahan homicide and that Lato specifically is being targeted in the reinvigorated inquiry. The cold-case murder probe was jumpstarted back to life in the late summer of 2016 when former New England mob underboss Robert (Bobby the Cigar) DeLuca began cooperating again after being arrested inside the Witness Protection Program for lying to the government regarding his knowledge of another underworld rubout.

In the first half of the 1990s, DeLuca, 71, ran the Providence faction of the Patriarca clan on behalf of then-New England don Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme, who was stationed out of Boston. Salemme was arrested in the Witness Protection Program too in August 2016 and charged with the 1993 Beantown gangland slaying of nightclub owner and FBI cooperator Stevie DiSarro, a business partner of Salemme’s strangled to death inside Salemme’s suburban Boston house with Salemme watching on, according to prosecutors. He’s set for trial on the DiSarro case this year.

Salemme, 84, tasked DeLuca with burying DiSarro’s body, which was dug up in the spring of 2016 under a converted textile mill in downtown Providence. DeLuca pled guilty to perjury related to his initial 2009 debriefing with the feds when he denied involvement in or knowing about the Hanrahan hit. One-time Godfather Salemme will probably be charged in the Hanrahan case as well according to sources.

Kevin Hanrahan

Per people with knowledge of both the DiSarro and Hanrahan investigations, DeLuca “ran point” on the Hanrahan homicide conspiracy and he tapped fellow Providence mob figures Little Eddie Lato, Rocco (Shaky) Argenti and Ronald (Rum-Shot Ronnie) Coppola to carry out the job. Coppola, possibly unknowingly, was the conspiracy’s “set up man,” luring Hanrahan to a steak dinner at Federal Hill’s The Arch restaurant, and following the meal sending him to get a “big score” around the block.

DeLuca and Copplola were best friends. Hanrahan was killed leaving The Arch, according to these sources, by a pair of triggermen, thought by authorities to be Lato and Argenti.

Coppola and Argenti are deceased. Lato was seen in the minutes after Hanrahan was bumped off meeting with DeLuca and Coppola at Jimmy Burchfield’s, another restaurant and bar down the street. Informants told the FBI in 2010 that Hanrahan, himself a suspect in a string of mob hits, angered Salemme by shaking down bookmakers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts that belonged to Providence capo Anthony (The Saint) St. Laurent in the weeks preceding his slaying. St. Laurent died of natural causes in 2016.

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