Tag: Frank Salemme
Enrico Ponzo, 44, of Boston was one of 15 men named in a 40-count federal indictment in 1997 that was aimed at breaking up a brutal and bloody power struggle in the Patriarca family of La Cosa Nostra.
One faction of the Patriarca family, which Ponzo allegedly belonged to, sought to prevent Francis P. “Cadillac Frank” Salemme from being named boss. On June, 16, 1989, family underboss William P. Grasso was found shot dead along the Connecticut River. Hours later, Salemme was shot in the chest and leg outside a Saugus pancake house.
According to authorities, Ponzo and Vincent Michael Marino were the alleged triggermen in the attempted killing of Salemme. The indictment also accused the faction of killing three men, attempting to kill six others besides Salemme, and plotting to kill seven more.
Ponzo, who had been living as a fugitive under the alias Jeffrey John Shaw for more than 16 years, was apprehended in the small town of Marsing, Idaho, in February 2011.
“Enrico Ponzo, who had been living as a fugitive under an alias for more than 16 years, was captured in Idaho in February 2011.”
Since 2011, a federal grand jury has added new counts and racketeering acts, including using extortionate means to collect or attempt to collect extensions of credit, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, money laundering, witness tampering, and forfeiture allegations, said Christina DiIorio- Sterling, a spokes woman for the office of US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.
Ponzo, who is in prison at an undisclosed location, will be arraigned Feb. 4 in US District Court in Boston. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison, DiIorio-Sterling said.
“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.”
So what was the Mob moniker of the Cheeseman’s little brother, Anthony DiNunzio, lugged yesterday by the feds on charges of racketeering, which these days amounts to open and gross stupidity?
Little Cheese? Or Cheese Whiz — no, a whiz he definitely wasn’t. Cheese Puffs?
What a pair of Cheez-Its.
And so another “boss” bites the Parmesan. How do the G-men keep a straight face when they bust these gavone goombahs, claiming that (fill in the blank) is “the alleged leader of the New England organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra.”
C’mon, guys, Anthony ain’t really the boss, and you know it. The boss is the Old Man, and I don’t mean Baby Shanks. You feds are making Anthony the goat — goat cheese?
You would think that after the first few thousand Mafia guys got busted on wiretaps or bugs, the boys would wise up. But now we find out that back in 2010 Baby Shanks and Sharp Cheddar had a sit down at Billy Tse’s in Chinatown.
A year later, Monterey Jack DiNunzio discovered that the FBI had recorded a Mafia confab … again.
“We met, me and two other guys. … They had us on tape. I just found out yesterday … the whole place was wired no matter what table we sat at.”
Not Gouda. And it doesn’t seem fair, does it? When Frank Salemme was hanging at the Busy Bee, they only had his one table at the front there wired. Larry Zannino never worried when he sat down at the Bella Napoli, did he? What’s this world coming to when you can’t sit down in peace and slur Irish gangsters?
That stinks. Like Limburger, come to think of it.
Anyway, here’s Roquefort DiNunzio sitting at My Cousin Vinny’s in Malden, ripping one of his soldados.
“You know what I can’t understand,” he says. “How the hell did he get made, because he’s half Irish…. I don’t understand that … that’s not the rules… you gotta do one hundred percent (Italian).”
Hey, Cadillac Frank, you gonna let Fromage get away with saying that about youse?
You remember how in “My Cousin Vinny,” Joe Pesci kept talking about “utes,” meaning youths. Apparently Boss Mozzarella has a son, a ute as it were — “My son, he’s not with me. I put him with a capo.”
A capo in this outfit — it would be like being an admiral in the Swiss navy, as Freddie Langone used to say.
Not that Anthony DiNunzio wasn’t tough. He once recalled threatening a guy — “Well then you and I get to watch you die in the ground … I’ll stay there bleepin’ 10 hours until you’re dead.”
In other words, even Anthony DiNunzio could be a Muenster when he felt like it.
BOSTON — In a Mafia induction ceremony in 1989, Robert Deluca drew blood from his trigger finger as fellow alleged mobsters burned a Madonna prayer card and vowed to never betray the mob’s code of silence.
“As burn this Saint, so will burn my soul. I enter into this organization alive, and I will have to get out dead,’’ Deluca recited in Italian as he became a “made man” in the mob at the Medford initiation that was secretly bugged by the FBI.
Newscenter 5 has learned that Deluca, who is a reputed capo in the New England crime family, has betrayed the blood oath.
He has agreed to cooperate with the FBI and act as a star witness in the James “Whitey” Bulger case, several sources said.
In 1995, DeLuca was indicted along with Bulger, Steven “The Rifleman” Flemmi, James “Jimmy the Bear” Martorano and Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme in a plethora of racketeering charges.
But, by the time Deluca and his codefendants were arrested, Whitey Bulger was gone. He was tipped off to the pending indictment and went on the lam until his arrest in Santa Monica this June.
While Whitey Bulger was on the run, Deluca pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiracy, racketeering and interference with commerce by threats of violence charges and served 34 months in a federal prison, according to court documents.
By the time Bulger – who topped the FBI’s Most Wanted List – was captured, law enforcement sources said Deluca was losing his Rhode Island power base as the Mafia’s leadership roles shifted back to Boston.
In recent months, Deluca vanished from his base on Federal Hill and has not been seen in the North End.
His North Providence home has been sold.
His wife and two kids have vanished.
“We saw the moving truck there and they were gone,’’ said Grace Olsen, Deluca’s next-door neighbor.
Deluca is one of several mob bosses to “flip” in recent years. In New York, Bonanno crime family boss Joseph “Big Joey” Messina cooperated with the government to avoid a death sentence. The Philadelphia Mafia’s boss, Ralph Natale, also made a deal.
“Historically it was very rare,’’ retired Massachusetts State Police Det. Lt. Bob Long said of Mafia leaders becoming cooperators. “Now rumors are that Deluca is doing the same thing…
“It appears that the old days of following the code of silence, the omerta, of this thing of ours is crumbled. It’s like a bygone era,” said Long.
Deluca’s neighbor said living next to a mob boss had its benefits.
“We were very sad to see him go,’’ Olsen said.
When asked if she knew about his cooperation agreement, she nodded.
“Knowing him and having broken bread with him,’’ she said, “I think that he did what he had to do to protect his young family.”
Enrico Ponzo, 42, is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Idaho today, as government lawyers prepare to have him shipped back to Boston to face a 40-count indictment here, the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Ponzo was arrested in 1994 for drug charges. After he failed to appear for court hearings an arrest warrant was issued. In 1996, he was charged with an aggravated assault in Everett.
At the time, Ponzo was allegedly involved with the New England branch of La Cosa Nostra, inside the Patriarca Family. When “Cadillac” Frank Salemme was named boss of the family, Ponzo and others formed a rogue faction that sought to wrest control of the family and appoint themselves as its underbosses.
Members of this group were charged with killing and plotting to kill those who stood in their way, offering $5,000 per hit with a bonus of $15,000 to the killer who took out Salemme, according to the indictment.
Ponzo was one of three would-be capos who tried to kill Salemme in a botched 1989 Saugus hit, where the bungling hit men shot at the boss but failed to kill him, according to authorities. That was one of several attempted murders that the FBI alleges Ponzo tried to carry out.
He eventually fled, relocating to Idaho, where the U.S. Attorney’s office said he changed his name to Jeffrey John Shaw.
Ponzo was tracked down by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, who arrested him Monday night.
We’ve learned a major shift in power is happening right now inside the Patriarca crime family . It’s an historic move with major implications.
According to the FBI, the leadership of the New England mob has been in the hands of Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio for the past 12 years. But Target 12 has learned that Manocchio is stepping aside.
This type of leadership change has only happened five times since Raymond L.S. Patriarca ran the show dating back to the 1950′s. Now with a federal investigation swirling around the current boss , the balance of power could be shifting back to Boston for only the second time in the family’s history.
It all began with Raymond L.S. Patriarca, the godfather of the crime family that bears his name. Since his passing in 1984, only four other men have held the title of “boss.” His son, Raymond “Junior” Patriarca, Nicholas “Nicky” Bianco, Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme , And now Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio.
According to the FBI and Rhode Island State Police, Manocchio has run the show for all of New England for more than a decade. But Target 12 has learned we are in the middle of a major power shift inside the New England mafia. Law enforcement sources tell Target 12 that Manocchio, at 82-years-old and under federal investigation, is on his way out.
Sources say law enforcement is keeping a close eye on Boston’s Peter Limone as Manocchio’s successor. Limone spent 33 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. According to sources, since his release he has been the family’s consigliere, or advisor.
Tim White: “Is this something that law enfocement, that the FBI tries to monitor?”
Jeffrey Sallet, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI: “Absolutely.”
Supervisory special agent Jeffrey Sallet heads the FBI Organized Crime Unit for New England. He can’t comment on any potential shake-up in the family’s hierarchy. But he said many factors can be a catalyst to change at the top.
“Typically, when a high ranking position in the LCN goes to jail and they’re unable to carry out their duties, they have to be replaced on the street,” Sallet said.
A reference to current underboss, Carmen “The Cheeseman” Dinunzio . He was sentenced to six years in federal prison for trying to bribe his way into a lucrative big dig contract.
Target 12 has learned law enforcement is watching Rhode Island capo regime Robert “Bobby” Deluca as the family’s next underboss. Sources say Deluca made strong allegiances with Boston and New York players during his 12 year stint in federal prison and those connections are paying off now.
Deluca would run the Rhode Island arm of LCN with a faction of capo regimes, or captains. Sources identify those captains as:
-Edward “Eddie” Lato
- Anthony “The Saint” St. Laurent
The shift in power from providence to Boston is not without problems.
Like Dinunzio, Limone is facing legal problems. He was arrested earlier this year on state gambling charges. So, law enforcement is also keeping watch on another potential Boston power player; Anthony Dinunzio, brother of the “Cheeseman.”
Sallet won’t comment on those wiseguys specifically, but says a boss would need the approval of the captains of the family both in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
“These guys are bad guys. They wake up every morning thinking how they can steal from you. From how they can steal from the public. These guys are not Robin Hood. Their lives are not the glamour that you see on TV,” Sallet said.
With dwindling ranks, sources say the next boss of the crime family may not have control of much. But, considering the active investigation targeting the boss, it’s clear the FBI as well as the Rhode Island State Police and Providence police still consider the New England mob a threat to society.