Once-highly feared South Boston mobster Stevie (The Rifleman) Flemmi saved Francis (Frankie Boy) Salemme Jr.’s life after the aspiring wiseguy ripped off a mafia-backed drug ring. This week, he’s trying to help the government make it so his dad, former New England mob don Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme spends the rest of his life in prison.

Flemmi, known for practicing a particularly heinous brand of violence and for being a longtime FBI confidential informant, during his time on the street brand took the stand Wednesday at the elder Salemme’s murder trial and recounted his early days in the Boston underworld when he was running buddies with Cadillac Frank in the 1960s and the city’s underworld was ablaze in war. At the very end of his first day of testimony, Flemmi recounted a story about intervening on behalf of the younger Salemme when his dad was behind bars for a car bomb attack and Frankie Boy sold a marijuana dealer connected to deceased Patriarca crime family soldier Joseph (Joe Black) Lamattina a bunch of peat moss he tried parading as pot.

Cadillac Frank Salemme, 84, is charged with the 1993 gangland slaying of nightclub owner Stevie DiSarro, a business partner of his he suspected of stealing and ratting. The 83-year old Flemmi is set tell jurors that he accidentally walked in on Frankie Boy Salemme strangling DiSarro to death inside the Salemme family home in Sharon, Massachusetts. DiSarro’s remains were dug up in Providence in 2016. Frankie Boy Salemme died of AIDS-related cancer in 1995 at 38.

In the first half of the 1990s, Cadillac Frank ruled New England’s Italian mafia with an iron fist. Despite being of Italian descent, Flemmi was a leader of Boston’s Irish mob, referred to by locals as the Winter Hill Gang. They both went down in a 1995 racketeering bust. Flemmi has been in prison ever since and started testifying for the government in the early 2000s. Salemme entered the Witness Protection Program but didn’t admit to his alleged role in the DiSarro homicide and was arrested in the months following DiSarro’s bones being unearthed.

The hot-headed Frankie Boy Salemme Drug has been portrayed as a loose-cannon of a wiseguy in testimony at his father’s trial, with frequent fist fights at the drop of a dime and drug rip offs aplenty filling the narrative painted by several witnesses. Per testimony this week, he threw a narcotics trafficker he was stealing from out of a moving car and at a dinner meeting to discuss auction bids for a nightclub he was trying to buy with his father and DiSarro, Frankie Boy broke a plate over the head of a competing bidder as a means of persuading the bidder to drop out of the auction. The final piece of Flemmi’s testimony Wednesday saw the former Korean War paratrooper recall an incident in the mid-1980s where Frankie Boy swindled one of Joe Black Lamattina’s drug-peddling underlings out of a couple thousand bucks in bunk weed.

“They were looking for him……He was a nice kid. I liked him. I told Joe Black, that’s Cadillac Frank’s kid, nothing’s going to happen to him. If something does, there’s going to be a problem”

Dying of natural causes at 85 years old in 2015, Lamattina used to be soldier in Boston’s North End mob crew run by Larry Zannino. His older brother, Ralph (Ralphie Chong) Lamattina, also belonged to Zannino’s crew. Ralphie Chong, 94, died last year. Joe Black did five years in prison for loansharking (1988-1993) and was in charge of the Patriarca crime family’s interests in the casino-gaming industry, looking after investments in the Caribbean, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Zannino dropped dead in prison in the 1990s.

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