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Mobster Pleads Guilty in Extortion Case Threatened to Decapitate Business Owner

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Nov/06/2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — 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.

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