SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — One of five reputed mobsters from western Massachusetts who were charged in connection with an extortion case has pleaded guilty in federal court.

The Republican reports 50-year-old Ralph Santaniello, of Longmeadow, pleaded guilty Monday in Worcester to charges that include extortion. He faces more than six years in prison when he’s sentenced Jan. 29.

Santaniello was arrested in August 2016 along with close to 40 alleged members of various organized crime families following a large-scale crime bust. He was charged with gambling and other extortion-related offenses.

Prosecutors say Santaniello and another mobster extorted the owner of a local towing business. Authorities say the men allegedly threatened to decapitate and bury the body of the tow company owner unless he paid $50,000.

A co-defendant is expected to also plead guilty Monday.


Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.