Frank Rossi, a career criminal with close ties to embattled Boston Teamsters boss George W. Cashman was arrested on drug charges Nov. 9 and sources said the arrest could signal a major break in the racketeering probe against the union boss. Rossi was just released from a N.J. halfway house in Oct. on a different charge. The slightly built and balding Rossi, dressed in a checkered, untucked button-down shirt, jeans and sneakers, was arraigned in U.S. District Court on one count of distributing cocaine after a wired informant tape recorded at least two purchases from him in Nov. U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Swartwood III (D. Mass.) held Rossi without bail until a Nov. 14 probable cause hearing as well as a hearing on his dangerousness and risk of flight.
Rossi was arrested in Woburn, Mass., following the investigation by a team of agents from the Drug Enforcement Admin. and the Dep’t of Labor’s Office of Labor Racketeering, as well by local police. While Rossi is being held on drug charges, it is his connections to Cashman that has piqued investigators’ interest. Rossi has worked as a member of Local 25’s movie crew, many of whose members are being probed for allegedly shaking down filmmakers, intimidating and threatening other set workers and padding overtime and expense sheets.
Allegedly, Rossi is an enforcer for Cashman both on and off sets. Rossi last worked on the set of “Cider House Rules,” filmed in western Massachusetts, but union officials were forced to remove him after he allegedly severely beat his wife during the filming. Rossi also once worked as a salesman for Boston Sportswear, which used to supply T-shirts, polo shirts and other Local 25 emblazoned clothing to the local. IBT sources claim union members were forced to buy the items, especially if they worked on the movie crews.
Rossi was also allegedly named by former mob member-turned-government witness Robert Luisi as one of the triggermen in the murder of Anthony DiPrizio, whose frozen and bloodied corpse was found in a Charlestown snowbank clad only in his underwear. Reportedly, Luisi, who pled guilty to racketeering charges last year that included paying $7,500 for DiPrizio to be killed, told investigators Rossi was one of the men he hired to do the execution. Investigators reportedly asked Luisi if DiPrizio’s killing had any connection to the unsolved murder of Logan baggage
handler Susan Taraskiewicz, a Northwest Airlines superintendent who was found stuffed in her trunk on Sept. 1992.
DiPrizio was once busted in Las Vegas on fraud and conspiracy charges after he and others ran up $420,000 in cash advances on credit cards stolen from Logan mail bags. Investigators believe Taraskiewicz may have been killed because she stumbled upon a similar scam. At least one man suspected in Taraskiewicz’s murder, Joseph Nuzzo, was convicted of stealing credit cards.
Rossi has a lengthy rap sheet dating back to 1968. According to the complaint by DEA’s Joseph W. Desmond and DOL’s Stephen B. Mitchell, Rossi has been convicted of bank robbery in Mass. and Cal., extortion, drugs and at least two escapes from custody. In 1993, Rossi was one of 25 people rounded up in the infamous Boston “Code of Silence” case that broke open the neighborhood’s tight clamp on unsolved murders and other crimes. [Boston Herald 11/10/01]