Fresh out of federal prison following a ten-year bid, lightning-rod New England mob captain Anthony (The Saint) St. Laurent died this week of natural causes. The ailing 75-year old capo had been behind bars for the past decade on an extortion conviction and a bust in an ill-fated murder-for-hire plot. He hailed from the Patriarca crime family’s Providence, Rhode Island faction and was rushed to the hospital Sunday night where he passed away, less than two weeks after getting sprung from the clink. The FBI has been eying St. Laurent for the last several years for having possibly played a role in the unsolved September 1992 gangland slaying of Patriarca clan ace collector and rogue strong arm Kevin Hanrahan.

In his younger days on his way up the local mob ladder, the rough-around-the-edges St. Laurent served as a driver and bodyguard for Rhode Island mafia chief Nicky Bianco and was the point man for the crime family’s legendary namesake Raymond Patriarca in controlling all the bookmakers in the Providence area, according to FBI records. Patriarca died of a heart attack in 1984, around the same time the Saint was reportedly promoted to capo status. In the late 1990s, rumors started to float that he secretly provided intelligence to the feds.

Nailed on extortion charges in 1999, St. Laurent did the next six years in prison. Released in early 2005 he resumed his racketeering ways, lasting only a year back on the streets until he was indicted again in another extortion case in April 2006 resulting from his longtime taxing of bookies operating in the southeastern part of Massachusetts.

During his 13 months of freedom in the mid-2000s, St. Laurent tried unsuccessfully to solicit the murder of hated mob rival Robert (Bobby the Cigar) DeLuca. On multiple occasions, St. Laurent approached two separate wired-for-sound FBI informants requesting that they kill DeLuca on his behalf, shooting him in the head and telling him “this is from the Saint” before they pulled the trigger. Once he was locked up, he tried to hire someone else to bump off Bobby the Cigar.

St. Laurent was feuding with DeLuca over the fact that Bobby the Cigar was telling people that St. Laurent was a rat and St. Laurent’s further belief that DeLuca had tried muscling in on his rackets while he was incarcerated in the early 2000s. Per sources, some time around 2001, DeLuca got his hands on an affidavit signed by notorious South Boston gangster and FBI informant Stephen (Stevie the Rifleman) Flemmi explaining how he was told by a corrupt FBI agent in 1988 that St. Laurent was a confidential informant for the government.

Ironically, DeLuca entered the Witness Protection Program five years ago. He was arrested in connection to a murder conspiracy this past summer and is once again cooperating with federal authorities. DeLuca, 71, has admitted to burying the body of mafia associate, Stevie DiSarro behind a converted mill in Providence in May 1993 and helping arrange the Kevin Hanrahan hit less than a year earlier.

Per sources, the bad feelings between St. Laurent and DeLuca go back more than 25 years to St. Laurent thinking he was passed over for a promotion in favor of DeLuca. The two were busted together in 1993 for running a bookmaking operation out of the Foxy Lady strip club in Providence. More recently, they hurled threats and accusations back and forth regarding each of their beliefs that the other was a snitch.

According to court records filed in 2010, Hanrahan had attempted shaking down a bookie in Taunton, Massachusetts belonging to St. Laurent for $100,000 in the week after Labor Day 1992 causing the bookie to go to the Saint for cover, who in turn sent him to an underling of his who immediately contacted then-Patriarca don Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme in Boston to tell him of the issue. The extorted bookie brought a grocery bag with $25,000 in it to St. Laurent on September 16 at an area shopping mall, per the court records, and Hanrahan was subsequently killed in Providence the evening of September 18, shot in the face and head at point-blank range by a tandem of assassins leaving a dinner with DeLuca’s No. 2 in command, well-known Rhode Island hoodlum Ronnie Coppola.

Salemme, 83, was arrested living in the Witness Protection Program back in the summer and charged in the DiSarro slaying and is considered a suspect in the Hanrahan homicide. He and DiSarro were partners in a South Boston nightclub and investigators believe Salemme thought DiSarro was stealing from him and cooperating with authorities in grand jury proceedings probing Cadillac Frank’s mob empire. DeLuca served as Salemme’s right-hand man during his half-decade reign atop the New England underworld (1990-1995). Coppola was killed in 1994, shot to death in a fight at a card game.

St. Laurent’s rap sheet dates back to 1959. Besides his gambling and shakedown rackets, the Saint was said to oversee the Patriarca’s interest in the narcotics business in the Providence area for many years. On the heels of spending a great deal of time in Las Vegas in the late 1980s, he was placed in the city’s infamous Black Book, banning him from all casino establishments for his ties to organized crime. While in Vegas, the Saint got into a beef with a mobster from another crime family and ended up with a murder contract put on his head for allegedly threatening to hurt the teenage daughter of a bookie under the opposing wiseguy’s protection.

“The rumors (of being an informant) hurt him, the Saint went away (to prison) this last time with a lot of people asking a lot of questions,” remarked one Providence Goodfella to Gangster Report. “The guy had a ton of respect on the streets up until then. I mean, nobody loved him, but they knew he was for real. After that, Bobby (DeLuca) went after his book, people started to keep their distance, which in turn got him in trouble for turning the screws to the guys that he had protected for all those years when they began backing off. That’s why he went down in 2006.”

Also nabbed in the 2006 indictment against the Saint was his son and wife for helping him conduct his extortion and racketeering activities. Anthony St. Laurent, Jr. was collared with his pops in his 1999 indictment too. The younger St. Laurent was released from prison back in March.

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