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News Release
November 9, 2004

Former La Cosa Nostra Boss Charged in Connection with 1993 Mob Murder

Boston, MA... Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Colonel Thomas Robbins, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging FRANCIS P. SALEMME, age 71, with obstruction of justice and making false statements regarding the disappearance and murder of a Westwood man.

SALEMME, the former boss of the New England Family of La Cosa Nostra, was charged in a two count indictment with lying to federal investigators and prosecutors about the 1993 disappearance and murder of Stephen A. DiSarro, a Westwood businessman. DiSarro was involved in the operation of “The Channel,” a notorious rock and roll/adult entertainment club in South Boston. DiSarro disappeared shortly after the relationship of SALEMME and SALEMME’S son to The Channel, became a matter of federal investigation.

The indictment alleges that SALEMME and his son had a hidden interest in The Channel, and that “On or about May 10, 1993, the defendant FRANCIS P. SALEMME was present at the scene of Stephen DiSarro's murder. The defendant FRANCIS P. SALEMME also assisted in burying Stephen DiSarro's body to prevent its discovery.”

The indictment also alleges that in an attempt to obtain a reduction of sentence in connection with racketeering charges pending against him in 1999, SALEMME agreed to talk to federal prosecutors and investigators. Part of the questioning of SALEMME included the disappearance and presumed murder of DiSarro. SALEMME denied that he had any knowledge of or involvement in DiSarro’s disappearance, and provided false information to federal prosecutors and investigators designed to mislead them. SALEMME was ultimately successful in winning a reduction of his sentence based upon his assistance to the government in the prosecution of former FBI agent John Connolly.

U.S. Attorney Sullivan stated, “We will vigorously pursue any individual who lies or misleads federal prosecutors and investigators, thereby obstructing the administration of justice. While it is sometimes necessary to use and work with known criminals in the investigation and prosecution of complex organized crime cases, cooperating witnesses or defendants will not be allowed to provide less than truthful information under any circumstances. SALEMME’s alleged involvement in the disappearance and murder of Stephen DiSarro was important information that federal prosecutors and investigators should have known in connection with SALEMME’s plea and sentence. The federal district judge who sentenced SALEMME should also have had access to this information," concluded Sullivan.

SALEMME is facing a maximum sentence of ten years’ incarceration upon conviction for obstruction of justice and a maximum sentence of five years’ incarceration upon conviction for the false statement charge. Both offenses also carry a maximum fine of $250,000 and a period of three years’ supervised release.

The indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Massachusetts State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Fred M. Wyshak, Jr. and Brian T. Kelly, of the Strike Force Unit.

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