Ralph “Ralphie Sant” Santaniello (Born 1968) is one of the leaders of the Genovese crew operating in Springfield, Massachusetts. He shares power in the crew with his cousin, Springfield capo Albert Calvanese.
Santaniello was a longtime associate of former Springfield mobster turned government witness Anthony Arillotta (Bingy). Santaniello was Arillotta's co-defendant twice: first, in 1993 for waging a home invasion in Springfield armed with sticks and broom handles in 1993. Both were charged along with longtime associate Gerald Daniele. The charges against Arillotta were dropped. Santaniello, then, 25, and three others pleaded guilty to assault charges in connection with the incident.
He also pleaded guilty to a separate assault at a once-popular nightspot in Spingfield, MA. One witness said Santaniello cracked a man over the head with a beer bottle. Santaniello said he was too drunk to remember.
For the next dozen years, Santaniello managed to stay out of law enforcement's cross-hairs, by all accounts. But in 2005, he was charged along with Arillotta and two other men in connection with a gambling and loan-sharking ring investigators said grossed $500,000 a month.
Santaniello pleaded guilty and received two years in jail plus probation. He was ordered by a judge to speak to local high school students about the dangers of betting as part of his probation. His mother also was charged in connection with the betting ring, but received probation. He was released in 2007.
After his release, it is believed that he became a made member of Genovese Crime Family’s Springfield Crew and eventually became co-capo of the crew with his cousin, mobster Albert Calvanese.
*Please note the following has not been proven as the investigation and trial are still on going. But he did plead guilty to acting as a financier for loan sharks and providing $15,000 to an undercover FBI agent during a meeting.*
On August 4, 2016 Santaniello and four other members of his crew were arrested and charged with gambling, loansharking and extortion. Their arrests were part of a major East Coast organized crime bust that involved the arrests of nearly 40 alleged members and associates of the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, Bonanno, and Philadelphia Organized Crime Families.
Prosecutors allege that Santaniello and another associate extorted the owner of a local towing business, threatening to cut off his head and bury his body in his backyard, and say the incident was captured in audio and video recordings. Santaniello is being held at a Brooklyn prison without bail because he also faces RICO conspiracy charges along with Springfield mobster Francesco Depergola in federal court in Manhattan. Those charges stem from an extortionate loan of $30,000 made to an unnamed witness by the two mobsters at the behest of New York-based Genovese captain Eugene O’Nofrio.
Members of the Springfield crew that were indicted:
-Francesco “Sammy Shark” Depergola (Soldier)
-Gerald Daniele (Associate)
-Giovanni “Johnny Cal” Calabrese (Associate)
-Richard “Richie the Postman” Valentini (Associate)