November 1, 2019 – In 2009, Providence mob captain Robert (Bobby the Cigar) DeLuca reached out to cooperate with the Rhode Island State Police and FBI as a way to eliminate his enemies and clear a path for himself to become boss of the Patriarca crime family, according to the brilliantly-crafted Channel 12 WPRI television special, The Mafia Tapes, hosted by local award-winning investigative reporter Tim White, that aired Tuesday. Instead, the 72-year old DeLuca went into the Witness Protection Program.
The man once known as Bobby the Cigar for his signature stogie was inducted into New England mafia at a famous October 29, 1989 ceremony recorded by the FBI 30 years ago this week. The Mafia Tapes served as a retrospective on the historic FBI coup. The New England mafia broke out into a war in June 1989, the battle lines split mainly between Boston and Providence – the “making” ritual was held as a conciliatory gesture to the Patriarca clan’s Boston faction in order to tamp down the violence.
Word came in from the mob’s national Commission in New York that four new members would be brought into the crime family from the Boston camp and one from the Providence regime. The Providence wiseguy selected to get his button that day was Bobby the Cigar DeLuca.
Fast forward two decades later and DeLuca, fed up with fellow mob figures he considered rats and undeserving of his loyalty, decided to become a rat himself, contacting RISP organized crime squad commander Steven O’Donnell and wiring up for the next two years. He recorded conversations with New England mob powers Luigi (Baby Shacks) Manocchio, Edward (Little Eddie) Lato and Anthony (Little Cheese) DiNunzio, among others.
When the racketeering indictment DeLuca’s cooperation helped the feds build finally dropped in 2011, Bobby the Cigar didn’t move into the boss’ sear as he had intended, but moved to Florida with his wife and young kids and assumed a new identity.
This article was originally posted here