Members of a Springfield, Massachusetts based mafia crew controlled by the Genovese crime family are agreeing to plead guilty after being taken down by authorities.
According to the feds, Longmeadow resident Ralph Santaniello was the ringleader of the New York mafia controlled crew that also included Giovanni “Johnny Cal” Calabrese, Francesco “Frank” Depergola, Richard Valentini, and Gerald Daniele. They are accused of working with the NY Mafia family in various organized crime-related activities including loan sharking, extortion, and illegal gambling. Calabrese is the latest member of the Cosa Nostra crew to agree to a plea deal following previous agreements from his co-defendants Santaniello and Depergola. The terms of the plea deals for the three alleged mobsters have not yet been made public.
According to court records unsealed last year after being arrested four of five defendants conspired to shake down a local tow company owner for thousands of dollars back in 2013. According to authorities Santaniello and Calabrese threatened to cut off the head of Craig Morel the founder of C.J.’s Towing and bury his body in the backyard if he didn’t kick up to the mafia. Morel went to authorities and at the behest of the state police, he filmed and recorded a series of meeting between him and the defendants where he made payments totaling approx $20,000. Danielle the only man uncharged in that case was later accused of joining the other four defendants in shaking down a loansharking debtor.
Depergola and Santaniello have also been charged in an indictment out of New York City in connection to the East Coast LCN Enterprise case. According to the indictment, the defendants were involved in a profit-sharing loansharking deal with Genovese family captain Eugene “Rooster” O’Nofrio in 2014. Both defendants have also agreed to plead guilty to the charges in that state as well. Santaniello has been behind bars since his 2016 arrest after being the only defendant denied bail. A judge refused to release Santaniello because he said he exhibited a casual brutality toward a victim along with his alleged leadership role in the crime faction. This latest version of the Springfield mafia is going to be behind bars for a while.