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Boston mobster turned Memphis pastor discusses $500 million art heist


MEMPHIS – An ex-Boston mobster who secretly moved to Memphis in 2013 is opening up about his life as the boss of a Boston mafia crew and his knowledge of the largest art heist in world history.

In the 1990s, Robert Luisi, Jr. was the leader of a mob crew in a Boston. Two of the men in his crew, Robert Guarente and 80-year-old Robert Gentile, are suspected by the FBI of stealing $500 million worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Luisi moved to Memphis in 2013. With guidance from the federal government, he changed his name to Alonso Esposito and started a new life.

Now, Esposito lives in a Memphis suburb with his wife, Julie Esposito, and their children.

Guarente died in 2004. Investigators have searched Gentile’s home in Philadelphia, but didn’t find the paintings. Gentile is awaiting trial for unrelated charges, and he claims he knows nothing about the missing art.

For 26 years, the investigation has led investigators to dead ends. And even with Esposito opening up about his knowledge, the art is still nowhere to be found.

When asked if men in his crew were involved in the heist, Esposito said, “I think several of them were. Yeah, that was my crew.”

But Esposito said he didn’t connect with Gentile and Guarante until a few years after the heist.

“I was coming back to Boston from Martha’s Vineyard,” Esposito said, describing what he was doing on March 18, 1990 – the night the paintings were stolen. “That crew that they suspect actually did the robbery, I really didn’t hook up with them until about ’94.”

No one has ever been arrested for stealing the art, but leads have continually taken investigators to men related to Esposito’s former friends in Boston, Philadelphia, Connecticut and Florida.

Full Article – http://www.wsoctv.com/news/trending-now/boston-mobster-turned-memphis-pastor-discusses-500-million-art-heist-1/413196610

Feds: Ex-mob boss Salemme, nabbed for murder, was on the run

This is a photo released by the FBI showing reputed New England Mafia leader Francis P. “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, after his arrest Aug. 11, 1995, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Salemme has been charged with lying to investigators about his role in the 1993 killing of a nightclub owner in order to get a shorter sentence for his racketeering conviction. Salemme, 71, was charged in 1995 with participating in eight murders. He pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with federal investigators. He was astar witness for the government in the trial of corrupt FBI agent John Connolly Jr. (AP Photo/FBI)

By MATT STOUT

Former New England mafia godfather Frank “Cadillac” Salemme was ordered held without bail today on charges he murdered a federal witness after prosecutors say he went on the run from a witness protection program.

Salemme, appearing in federal court today wearing baggy brown pants, sneakers and a blue t-shirt, did not challenge a detention order and waived his right to a probable cause hearing before being led away in handcuffs.

The 82-year-old mobster was smiling at times and even joking during his brief court appearance: As he was led into the courtroom, he quipped to long-time federal prosecutor Fred Wyshak, “Fancy seeing you here.”

Salemme is charged with the murder of a witness on May 10, 1993, according to a criminal complaint. Wyshak confirmed outside the courtroom that the murdered witness, who was not named in court, was nightclub owner Stephen DiSarro.

According to an indictment of another aging former mobster made public earlier this summer, Salemme and his son, Frank Salemme Jr., murdered  DiSarro on that date. DiSarro’s remains were found behind a mill in Providence in late March.

The initial Salemme revelation came in the indictment in June of ex-La Costa Nostra gang member Robert P. DeLuca, 70, on charges of lying to federal investigators about DiSarro’s disappearance and murder.

The Salemmes had a “hidden interest” in DiSarro’s Channel club, and that relationship came up during criminal investigations in the early 1990s, according to the DeLuca indictment.

The indictment on the murder charges against Salemme has been sealed from the public.

Salemme, who was the boss of the New England La Cosa Nostra in the 1990s until he was indicted on racketeering charges in 1995 and convicted in 1999, was arrested this morning in Connecticut.

Salemme was “fleeing from potential prosecution” and had left his home in Atlanta, Ga., Wyshak said.

Salemme’s lawyer, Steven Boozang, denied that his client was on the run.

“He was on his way back to answer any charges,” Boozang told reporters after the hearing. He said Salemme denies the charges and is determined to bring the case to trial.

Sourced From – http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2016/08/feds_ex_mob_boss_salemme_nabbed_for_murder_was_on_the_run