SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The case involving five Springfield alleged mafia associates is moving to Worcester. Attorneys for the five men were in federal court Friday for a status conference.
22News cameras were not allowed to shoot video inside the courthouse. The next hearing will be on July 24, in Worcester, in front of a U.S. District Court Judge.
Ralph Santaniello, Giovanni Calabrese, Jarold Daniele, Francesco Depergola, and Richard Valentini were arrested last August. They are accused of loansharking, collecting unlawful debt, and extorting money.
The men are alleged associates of the Genovese La Cosa Nostra crime family in New York, but all live in Hampden County. According to court documents, four of the defendants allegedly threatened a towing company owner. The victim claims that they threatened to cut off his head and bury him in the woods if he did not pay $20,000.
Another victim was allegedly threatened over a gambling debt.
Four of the men have been out on bail since August, while Santaniello was ordered held on bail, after a judge determined that he could be a danger to the community.
If convicted, the defendants could receive sentences of up to 20 years in prison.
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