Eight feet of New England dirt covered the body for 24 years. The only reason authorities knew where to find it was due to a marijuana bust.

The old mill building sprawled along Branch Avenue, a sooty brick structure in an industrial area of Providence, Rhode Island. In August 2015, federal and state authorities swarmed the site, discovering 1,400 marijuana plants sprouting inside. The building’s owner, William Ricci, was known by law enforcement to have links to organized crime, the Providence Journal reported.

Facing criminal charges from the raid, he bargained.

There was a secret buried out back, Ricci told authorities.

In March 2016, police arrived at the area behind the mill with a backhoe. After two days of digging, they discovered bones, the remains of a jogging suit, and the possible answer to a question from 1993: what happened to South Boston nightclub owner Steven A. DiSarro.

This week in Boston, federal prosecutors are working to bring DiSarro’s alleged killers to justice. Authorities say DiSarro was killed on orders from Francis Salemme, according to the Boston Globe. The former gangster was arrested along with a former associate, Paul Weadick.

Both men are now on trial in connection with DiSarro’s death. They say they are innocent.

Once the head of the New England Mafia and known as “Cadillac Frank,” Salemme was an organized crime figure in the 1980s and 1990s, ruling the New England underworld in a power balance with James “Whitey” Bulger, the infamous Boston gangster who spent 16 years in hiding before his 2012 arrest.

DiSarro’s killing happened just as those criminal empires were imploding, prosecutors allege.

This combination of 1984 file photos provided by the FBI shows Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger. AP Photo/FBI

The days of power are long behind the Salemme. Now 84

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