“He’s not cooperating against anybody and he never will,” attorney Steven Boozang told the Herald.
The now 78-year-old ex-mobster’s name was dropped Thursday at a detention hearing in Providence for the reputed new boss, Anthony DiNunzio, 53, of East Boston, who was charged last month with racketeering, extortion and conspiracy as part of a year-long investigation by the FBI of gangland shakedowns of strip clubs.
In arguing against freeing DiNunzio on bail, assistant U.S. Attorney William Ferland told a federal judge DiNunzio’s associates had told him Salemme was “giving up everybody.” DiNunzio, he said, wanted Salemme tracked down.
“Fortunately, Mr. Salemme is tucked away safely,” the federal prosecutor said.
But Salemme’s lawyer said his client is no longer a part of organized crime or the lifestyle of a wise guy.
“He rode off into the sunset. That’s it. He’s not a witness in this case or any other,” Boozang said. “That was a rumor started by a rat trying to deflect attention from himself. (Salemme) was one of the smarter ones who put that portion of his life behind him.”
Boozang said Salemme is “just living a healthy lifestyle.”
He declined to say whether any prosecutors have tried to reach Salemme to try to convince him to testify in any proceeding.
“He could have hurt people. He didn’t,” Boozang said. “He’s not that guy. He’s just not made that way.”