Metro

Former reputed head of New England Mafia completes prison sentence

An East Boston man whom prosecutors described in 2012 as the head of the New England Mafia completed in February his 78-month sentence for racketeering and is now walking free, records show.

Anthony L. DiNunzio, 58, was released from custody on Feb. 22, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. His release was first reported Tuesday by WPRI-TV in Rhode Island.

DiNunzio’s lawyer declined to comment Tuesday.

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The mobster pleaded guilty in 2012 to racketeering conspiracy for his role in shaking down Providence strip joints.

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According to court records, DiNunzio issued the warning to bury alive those who defied his rule during a meeting with an associate at My Cousin Vinny’s restaurant in Malden in June 2011. If someone disobeyed him, he allegedly said, “I get to watch you die in the ground.’’

He added: “I stay there 10 [expletive] hours until your [sic] dead. And I’ll dig you back up and make sure you are dead.’’

Several of DiNunzio’s conversations were recorded on wiretaps, including those he apparently had with members of the Gambino crime family.

Legal filings in the strip club case quoted him as saying he’d never give up his leadership role in the mob, even if the feds put him away.

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“If I go to the can, I’m still the boss . . . no matter what,’’ he allegedly said.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.