New England mafia associate Billy Ricci was the first domino to fall in the shocking cold-case murder revelations that have rocked the Patriarca crime family in the past year and a half. He flipped in early 2016 and by that spring the FBI descended on his Providence, Rhode Island property off Branch Avenue and dug up long-missing Boston nightclub owner and mob crony Stevie DiSarro, who was killed in May 1993 for his own cooperation with the government, .
The 70-year old Ricci recently got off light on narcotics and weapons charges, receiving just three years of probation. He was sentenced on July 21 in U.S. District Court in Providence.
In August of 2015, Ricci, who belonged to the mob crew of Patriarca clan captain Robert (Bobby the Cigar) DeLuca before DeLuca entered the Witness Protection Program and relocated to Florida earlier in the decade, was busted by the feds for using a converted textile mill on his Branch Avenue property as an illegal-marijuana grow operation and possessing a stolen pistol. The feds uncovered more than 1,500 marijuana plants in the building.
Ricci told the FBI DeLuca took part in the DiSarro murder conspiracy and was assigned burial duties in which he recruited Ricci’s aid. Along with DeLuca’s brother Joe, they disposed of DiSarro’s body at Ricci’s property, which at that time was just a construction site.
Bobby the Cigar, 71, was arrested inside the Witness Protection Program last summer, pled guilty to his role in the murder conspiracy and implicated his former boss in the mob, turncoat Patriarca don Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme, Cadillac Frank’s son, Francis (Frankie Boy) Salemme, Jr. and New England mafia associate Paul (Paulie the Plumber) Weadick as DiSarro’s killers. Cadillac Frank Salemme was pulled out of the “Program” last summer too and has been charged in the case.
Salemme, Jr. died of AIDS in 1995, but Weadick is alive and well and was arrested last fall. The elder Salemme and Weadick have pled not guilty and are awaiting trial behind bars. The 62-year old Weadick is allegedly connected to current reputed New England mob boss Carmen (The Big Cheese) DiNunzio and was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1980s.
According to the indictment, the handsome and business-savvy Stevie DiSarro, 43, was lured to the Salemme family home in suburban Sharon, Massachusetts on May 10, 1993 and strangled to death by Salemme, Jr. while Weadick held his legs and Cadillac Frank watched on. The Salemmes and DiSarro co-owned The Channel, a South Boston music venue, nightclub and go-go bar. By some accounts, Jack Salemme, Cadillac Frank’s baby brother and acting boss, was present however he isn’t currently facing any related charges.
DiSarro, a native of Providence, had been secretly helping the FBI and IRS build a criminal prosecution against Cadillac Frank when he was slain. Cadillac Frank reportedly confided in DeLuca in the weeks preceding DiSarro getting rubbed out that he thought DiSarro was cooperating with authorities and skimming profits from the club under the table.
Salemme, 84, ruled the New England underworld from 1991 through 1995 with DeLuca acting as his underboss and eyes and ears in the syndicate’s Rhode Island wing. Imprisoned in the summer of 1995, Cadillac Frank decided to join Team USA in late 1999 after finding out his childhood friend and co-defendant James (Whitey) Bulger, Boston’s legendary Irish mob boss, was a longtime FBI confidential informant. He’s admitted to perjuring himself in his initial debriefing for the government regarding what he knew about DiSarro’s execution, falsely placing the blame for the DiSarro hit on a deceased superior of his.
DeLuca’s renewed cooperation has allegedly yielded more than just fresh intelligence on the DiSarro hit. Last fall, he copped to lying about and planning the details of the September 1992 gangland murder of Patriarca crime family enforcer Kevin Hanrahan. Per sources, a federal grand jury has been impaneled in Providence to seek bringing charges in the Hanrahan homicide and DeLuca is also feeding the feds information on the May 1994 slaying of Rhode Island Goodfella Barry Kourmpates.
Hanrahan had been trying to “cut into” mafia-run sports books in the region without permission and Kourmpates was part of a crew of Portuguese wiseguys and thieves that perpetrated a string of robberies of Providence mob associates and then refused to return the stolen goods when requested to by Patriarca administrators. Kourmpates’s charred remains were discovered in a Jamestown, Rhode Island state park on Mother’s Day morning. Hanrahan was felled by a barrage of bullets fired at point-blank range in Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood following leaving a dinner with DeLuca’s right-hand man Ronnie Coppola.