Is two years in jail enough for a man to achieve redemption? A former New England mafia chief seems to believe so, and is trying to also make a judge see the light.
In anticipation of a sentencing on Tuesday that could keep him in the big house for more than another decade, former La Costra Nostra capo Robert DeLuca has written a federal judge to elucidate his newfound acceptance of organized religion over organized crime, WPRI-TV reports.
He told the judge that he was planning on being baptized in Florida right before he was nabbed in mid-May for lying to a police officer about his knowledge of the 1993 murder of 43-year-old Steven DiSarro, a Boston nightclub owner. Now, DeLuca faces 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of making false statements and an obstruction of charge for those actions, the Associated Press reports.
In his letter to Boston Federal Judge Denise Casper, he stressed “how [he] changed [his] life” and explained what he plans on doing once reunited with family and children — perhaps unsurprisingly, getting baptized is high on that list.
“I am not making an excuse for what I done I know it was wrong. I am sorry for it and I except [sic] full responsibility for it,” DeLuca wrote, according to WPRI-TV. “Before I got out of prison I denounced the mafia and was helping out the R.I. State Police.”
DeLuca also mentioned how he worked at a restaurant in Providence while on "work release," and then later with the FBI, even wearing a wire to help the bureau take down the New England La Cosa Nostra in 2011. In January of that year, the Justice Department announced that it had arrested 91 leaders associated with the mafia group, and charged a total of 127 individuals in Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York, Newark, New Jersey, and Providence, Rhode Island.
DeLuca wrote that after the series of arrests, he went to go live in Florida with his wife and two kids. And although sometimes things were financially tough for his family once the government stopped paying his bills, he stuck to honest ways of making money — and also found God.
“Once I started cooperating, except for my brother I never tried to protect anyone in the Mafia,” DeLuca wrote, according to WPRI-TV. “From the day I helped the government and went to live in FL, I lived a good honest family life. I never as much got a parking ticket.”
DeLuca’s attorney on Wednesday filed a motion to pursue a lighter sentence, according to the New York Post. It says that the 72-year-old former mobster is not the man he used to be. The judge will decide that on Tuesday.
[Photo Credit: Robert Deluca leaves a Providence restaurant where he worked on Dec. 5, 2006, following a stint in prison/Getty]