Two Longmeadow men associated with the Genovese La Cosa Nostra crime family were sentenced in federal court in Worcester on Tuesday.
According to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, 50-year-old Ralph Santaniello was sentenced to five years in prison and 54-year-old Giovanni Calabrese was sentenced to three years in prison.
Both men pleaded guilty to the following charges in November of 2017:
- One count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence
- One count of interference with commerce by threats of violence- aiding and abetting
- One count of conspiracy to use extortionate means to collect extensions of credit
- One count of using extortionate means to collect extensions of credit – aiding and abetting
Lelling said plea documents and evidence presented in court showed Santaniello, Calabrese, and three other men from Hampden County were associates of the New York based Genovese La Cosa Nostra crime family. The men were involved in criminal activities in Springfield including loansharking and extortion from both legitimate and illegitimate businesses.
The men were also said to have exploited their relationship with the Genovese La Cosa Nostra family and threatened their victims with murder and physical violence to instill fear in them.
The men were arrested and charged in August 2016 along with 52-year-old Gerald Daniele of Longmeadow, 62-year-old Francesco Depergola of Springfield, and 51-year-old Richard Valentini of East Longmeadow.
Daniele was sentenced to two years in prison in March 2018.
In December 2017, Depergola pleaded guilty and Valentini was convicted by a federal jury. Their sentencing is scheduled for May 11, 2018.