Second mobster pleads guilty to extortion

November 8, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A second reputed mobster from western Massachusetts who was facing extortion charges has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Federal prosecutors say 54-year-old Giovanni Calabrese joined 50-year-old Ralph Santaniello in pleading guilty Monday to extortion-related charges. The men were arrested and charged in August 2016 along with three others following a large-scale crime bust.

Prosecutors say both Calabrese and Santaniello threatened to decapitate and bury the body of a Springfield tow company owner unless he paid them. The businessman paid $20,000 over a period of four months.

Sentencing for both men has been scheduled for January.

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