BOSTON, June 14 -- A Mafia lieutenant who ran criminal activities in eastern Massachusetts for the Philadelphia Mob has pleaded guilty to a series of crimes including murder and has agreed to help authorities prosecute other mobsters from Boston to Philadelphia in exchange for spending no more than 15 years in prison.
Robert Luisi Jr., 39, confessed to the 1997 murder of Anthony DiPrizio, 39, whom he viewed as a rival, published reports said Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that Luisi also pleaded guilty to a racketeering indictment charging him with running sports betting and loan-sharking operations and collecting "rent" from underlings involved in gambling and drugs.
U.S. Attorney Ernest DiNisco said Luisi sent monthly "tribute" from his drug profits back to the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra.
Authorities said Luisi, who had been angling to take over the Boston Mob, also admitted plotting the murders of eight rivals seeking to overthrow reputed New England Mafia boss Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme.
According to reports Wednesday in the Boston Globe and Boston Herald, after Salemme refused to make Luisi a Mafia soldier in Boston, Luisi turned to reputed acting Philadelphia Mafia boss Joseph "Skinny Joe" Merlino, and was made a member of that faction in 1998. Rising quickly through the ranks, Luisi became boss of his own crew in Boston, paying tribute to Merlino for permission to run rackets in eastern Massachusetts for the Philadelphia family.
He was indicted initially on drug-trafficking charges last year after he and three others sold drugs to an undercover FBI agent who had infiltrated the Philadelphia Mob.
Under the plea agreement, Luisi will be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, with the actual sentence depending on the amount of help he gives prosecutors.
"What Luisi did today was put an end to his criminal career," his lawyer, John McGlone, said. Luisi is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 18. After he serves his time, he is expected to enter the government's witness protection program.NEWLN: