Former Salemme associate takes the stand in mob murder trial

BOSTON (WHDH) — A former associate of Frank Salemme testified on Tuesday, talking about his dealings with the mobster and why Salemme reportedly had nightclub owner Stephen Disarro murdered.

Robert DeLuca, 73, testified that Salemme was the one who promoted him to captain in the mafia. The two of them were seen together in numerous surveillance photos shot by the FBI. DeLuca also said Salemme was the one who told him he had Disarro, the owner of the Channel nightclub, murdered. Prosecutors said Disarro had dangerous, secret mob partners.

DeLuca said Salemme told him he had Disarro murdered because, “He said he’s robbing us. He’s scamming money and stuff.” DeLuca said he later learned Salemme believed Disarro was about to snitch on him and become an FBI informany.

DeLuca did not witness Disarro’s 1993 murder. He testified Salemme described how his son killed him in Salemme’s home in Sharon.

DeLuca’s brother, Joe DeLuca, testified earlier in the trial. Both said Joe DeLuca supervised the burial of Disarro’s body because DeLuca had young children. They did not tell Frank.

DeLuca said his brother told him to, “Just dig a hole. Throw it in the woods. I said, we can’t do that. If they find it we’re going to get killed too.”

Disarro’s body was buried in a giant pit behind an old mill in Rhode Island. The FBI dug up the body in 2016 and the discovery led to Salemme’s trial.

Defense attorneys also questioned DeLuca, giving the jury the impression that he could be lying.

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