Ex-Mob Boss ‘Cadillac Frank' Salemme Arrested on Charges Related to Murder of a Witness

If convicted, the former mob boss could get the death penalty

Former mob boss "Cadillac Frank" Salemme has been arrested on charges related to the murder of a witness, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Appearing in court in Boston Tuesday afternoon, Salemme is being held without bail in connection to the 1993 murder of Boston nightclub owner Steven A. DiSarro.

The victim disappeared on May 10 of that year. This March, his remains were found buried behind a mill building in Providence, Rhode Island.

An indictment against another high-ranking mafia member released in June said that Salemme and his son, Frank Salemme Jr., participated in DiSarro's killing. It also said the elder Salemme took DiSarro's body to Providence.

Earlier in his life, Salemme was one of New England's most feared mafia hitmen and later the boss of the region's crime family.

Now 82, Salemme was taken into Boston Federal Court in handcuffs, telling a judge he had trouble standing up when asked.

Salemme is believed to have been in the federal Witness Protection Program since he was charged and convicted on racketeering charges in the mid-1990s, testifying for the government after realizing his former backers, James "Whitey" Bulger and Steven "The Rifleman" Flemmi had informed the FBI of his activities. At the time of his arrest, he was living under the alias Richard Parker in Atlanta, Georgia.

If convicted, Salemme could face the death penalty. He and his attorney, Steve Boozang, decided to waive a probable cause hearing and will be held.

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