2 Purported Massachusetts Mob Associates Face Sentencing

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (AP) — Two men convicted in connection with a wide-ranging investigation into organized crime in western Massachusetts face sentencing.

Giovanni Calabrese and Ralph Santaniello are scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Worcester.

The Longmeadow men were among five area residents convicted in connection with the $20,000 shakedown of a Springfield towing company owner and loansharking. Prosecutors allege they are associates of the New York-based Genovese crime family.

They were arrested in August 2016.

Prosecutors say Calabrese and Santaniello threatened to cut off the towing company owner's head if he didn't pay kickbacks.

The Republican newspaper reports that the 54-year-old Calabrese is seeking leniency, asking a judge for probation rather than prison time. He says a part-time job at a Springfield strip club led to falling in with "the mob."

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