Boston host trainer resurfaces in Memphis as pastor

July 30, 2016 - accent chair

Alonso Esposito, a former Boston mobster-turned pastor, checks himself in a counterpart before withdrawal on a new Sunday for church where he is a apportion during Faith Keepers Ministry in Memphis. (Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht)

Alonso Esposito, a former Boston mobster-turned pastor, prays with a assemblage in his Raleigh church in Memphis. (Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht)

Alonso Esposito, a former Boston mobster-turned pastor, reflecting on a devout acclimatisation he gifted that has lead him to settle his new ministry. He was in his Memphis home Monday, Jun 27th, 2016. (Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht)

By Marc Perrusquia of The Commercial Appeal

Memphis loves a good excessive son story. But a faith village here occasionally encounters an criticism utterly as retaining — utterly as foresight — as a commemorative of host boss-turned-minister Robert “Bobby” Luisi Jr.

“I was concerned between Philadelphia and Boston in during slightest a half a dozen murders,” says Luisi, who has used a name Alonso Esposito given entering a sovereign witness-protection module 3 years ago.

From an easy chair in his medium Cordova plantation home, a 55-year-old ex-mobster looks some-more like a soft uncle — extended shoulders and a slight belly with clipped, black hair graying during a temples — than a male who once privileged $40,000 a week trafficking cocaine.

Esposito has been most sought-after by a internal news media given The Boston Globe identified him this week as a one-time Mafia crime trainer who might know something about a 1990 barbarous heist of $500 million of artwork, including 3 Rembrandts, from a Boston museum.

He’s resurfaced in Memphis as a charismatic preacher, conduct of Alonso Esposito Ministries.

“The usually approach we had to quarrel this thing was a name of Jesus,” Esposito says in this thick Boston accent, contemplative of his days flourishing adult in Little Italy in that city’s boisterous North End. “I seen a energy of his name.”

As cars whip past his still inlet and his German shepherd Sampson yaps out back, he tells his story and because he motionless to so publicly come out from behind a deceive of supervision protection. He had no ties to Memphis, other than his prolonged adore for Elvis, he says, relocating here during a FBI’s direction.

“I can’t speak about that,” he says flatly.

Still, there’s copiousness he will speak about. For one, he’s not fearful of any reprisals.

“I have to follow my faith and what a Lord wants me to do,” he said. “I’m going to tell we we can never harm anybody again. we have too most adore in my heart. I’m ashamed of a things that I’ve done. we harm people in a past. I’m a man. I’ll always urge myself and my family first. But I’m not disturbed about anybody.

“See we got to know something — we never ratted on anybody. No one seems to know that. Except for that Rico Ponzo, we didn’t rodent on anybody. So we wish we to demonstrate that: I’m not a rodent and we didn’t rodent on anybody.”

His story starts in 1973, when, during age 12, he got his initial pursuit as a curtain for a Patriarca crime family, collecting coins from bootleg gambling machines in a organization’s several “social clubs.” He attempted to find legitimate work as a immature adult, though saw a captivate of other group his age, in their early 20s, pushing Cadillacs. He eventually got into heroin trafficking and survived a squad fight in 1993.

“I had to collect a side and get involved. we usually started entrance adult and building adult my heroin business. I’d contend by ’95 or around that time we was already a millionaire.”

That same year his mob-connected father, Robert Luisi Sr., and his brother, Roman, were murdered along with dual others in a Boston restaurant. That, in a way, was a start of Esposito’s devout journey. He says he saw them both after a sharpened in a prophesy as he attempted to snooze one day in his son Robbie’s room. He talks of a knowledge in a breeze of a book he’s essay called “From Capo to Christian – The Life of Robert. C. Luisi Jr.”:

“When they reached a feet of Robbie’s bed they both sat and began staring during me with vacant expressions on their faces. As they both stared during me by a potion panels of a doorway we began staring back, wondering because they were here in my house. Just afterwards my father spoke several difference to me, saying,

“He has bondage for you.”

By now, we was sitting adult on a cot staring during both my unwelcomed guests, not meaningful what to do subsequent we shouted,

“The both of we get out of my house—NOW!”

Esposito says he realizes his story sounds strange. He wasn’t hallucinating, he insists.

“I have a present to see a spiritual. I’ve had it given we was a kid. This is because we was means to see my father,” he said.

Still, he wasn’t finished with crime — not yet. As The Globe reports, his try to turn a “made man” in New England was blocked, so he bending adult with a Philadelphia classification that done him a capo, or boss, in 1998 and authorised him to run his heroin business from Boston “in sell for tribute.”

The arrangement led to his detain and contingent self-assurance for heroin distribution. According to sovereign justice annals in Boston, he was condemned to 188 months. On his approach to jail he had another powerful vision.

“So that night we went from a revolutionary gangster, murderer, drug dealer, extortionist, anything that we could consider of, to usurpation Christ,” he said. “Now, we could call it, contend he hallucinated or this or that, though I’m going to tell you: A vivid went on all a approach into jail with me. Straight as an arrow.”

He testified about a knowledge during his 2002 hearing like this: “It was an awakening. we satisfied my lifestyle was wrong.”

Sorting out Esposito’s past as Robert Luisi is difficult. The Globe reported he confessed to grouping a 1997 murder of a rival, though he pronounced this week his invitation to prosecutors concerned revelation a partial in as many as 6 murders.

Liz McCarthy, mouthpiece for a U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, pronounced a bureau has no comment.

Esposito testified opposite racketeer Enrico ‘Rico’ Ponzo, who dual years ago was condemned to 28 years in prison, Though Esposito pronounced he had once designed to kill Ponzo, he pronounced his testimony usually laid a substructure for Ponzo’s business exchange and didn’t engage specific damning information.

Esposito pronounced a FBI recently voiced renewed seductiveness in a 1990 art burglary during Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. He pronounced he told agents an associate had once told him a paintings were underneath a petrify chunk of a home in Florida, though that he knew small else.

“I unequivocally couldn’t assistance them.”

Since his recover from prison, Esposito has lived sensitively in Memphis, operative for a time for a cupboard maker, removing married and exploring his faith. He is active in a internal church, Faith Keepers Ministries, has self published a book, The Last Generation, that examines his views of Christianity, and has his possess website,, where he discusses his faith and ministry.

“I consider it’s all really sincere,” pronounced Larry Easton, former priest of an undenominational church in Boston who knew Esposito years ago and recently rekindled their friendship. Easton pronounced Esposito initial came to him interrogation about faith behind in a ’90s when he was still in a host though wasn’t prepared afterwards to commit. “He was really conflicted. His father was deeply concerned in a host and he treasured him.”

Esposito says he realizes some people will boot his acclimatisation as a fraud, though it doesn’t worry him.

“That aged me is dead. we adore being Alonso Esposito. Bobby Luisi’s passed and buried. The blood of Christ cleared a blood off my hands.”

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