By MICHELLE R. SMITH
PROVIDENCE — A reputed New England mobster was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty on Monday in connection with an illegal sports betting ring.
Frank “Bobo” Marrapese, 70, pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge William E. Carnes Jr. to five counts of extortion conspiracy and one count each of racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit criminal usury.
Marrapese was among more than 20 people who were charged in 2011 in connection with the betting ring. Prosecutors say multiple members of the Patriarca crime family were involved, including Marrapese, Edward Lato and Alfred “Chippy” Scivola.
Marrapese was convicted in 1987 of killing mobster Richard “Dickie” Callei. He was released on parole in 2008 and was still on parole when prosecutors say he got involved in the ring, using his reputation for violence to imply or directly threaten people as he collected on unlawful debts.
His lawyer, John Harwood, told the judge his client has had a chance to reflect during the time he had already spent in prison since his May 2011 arrest.
“He’s realized the world has changed,” Harwood said.
Carnes gave Marrapese credit for time served since his arrest after Harwood asked the judge to give him “the benefit of the doubt” because of his age and health. Prosecutors opposed the request, and Carnes cautioned that the Department of Corrections may have a different interpretation about whether he is entitled to be credited for time served.
Among Marrapese’s victims was Henry Fellela, the husband of state Rep. Deborah Fellela, of Johnston, who himself is in trouble for allegedly claiming he was homeless to fraudulently collect Social Security benefits, among other charges. He has pleaded not guilty in federal court.
Lato has pleaded not guilty, while Scivola pleaded no contest to conspiracy last year. Lato and Scivola both pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison last year in an unrelated federal investigation into shakedowns at Rhode Island strip clubs.