Western Massachusetts wasn’t spared in last week’s 46-person, five-crime family east coast mafia racketeering indictment. Five members of the mob in Springfield, Ralphie Santaniello, Gerald Daniele, Frank (The Shark) Depergola, Giovanni (Johnny Cal) Calabrese and Richard (Richie the Postman) Valentini, were ensnared in the bust. One old timer with deep connections into the Genovese crime family’s Western Mass outpost is disgusted with the area’s new-school mob regime, if you could even call it that, he’s quick to point out. According to the “old timer”, the modern-day mafia in Springfield, Massachusetts is a ragtag group of mostly unrefined criminals, thugs, thieves and braggarts compared to the region’s mob heyday of Salvatore (Big Nose Sam) Cufari and the Scibelli brothers (Frank aka “Skyball,” Anthony aka “Turk,” and Alfred aka “Baba”). The last vestige of any respectability for the organization, per the “old timer” died with Springfield mob capo Adolfo (Big Al) Bruno, the Scibellis’ gangland protégé slain on November 23, 2003 in a power-play staged by his own protégé, Anthony (Bingy) Arillotta, who eventually became a government witness and is slated for release from federal prison before the end of the year. “These guys today are a total joke,” he said. “The whole operation is a three-ring circus. You don’t ask who the boss is, you ask whose the next lead clown, whose gonna sit on the seltzer bottle and make everyone laugh. To say this outfit is a shadow of it’s former self is an insult to shadows. Real men used to run this town, men you were proud to work for, men who could go across the entire god damn country and find respect. What we’ve got now are a bunch of wannabes, a bunch of clowns, drug fiends, drug pushers, fake tough guys. It’s a sad state of affairs. We’re talking about the blind leading the blind here.” Per sources with first-hand insight into last week’s indictment, the Springfield mob is currently being overseen by 49-year old Ralphie Santaniello and his 53-year old first cousin Albert Calvanese on a day-to-day basis. Amedeo Santaniello, Ralphie’s 77-year old father is alleged to be the crew’s pseudo consigliere. Calvanese, a convicted loan shark, and the elder Santaniello both avoided the recent indictment. Frank Depergola, 60 and reputed to be second-in-charge under Ralphie Santaniello and Calvanese, wasn’t so lucky, arrested last Thursday alongside Santaniello and charged with him, Daniele, Valentini and Calabrese on six counts of illegal gambling, loan sharking and extortion. Calabrese, Santaniello and Depergola allegedly shook down a local tow-truck company owner for $20,000. Santaniello threatened to chop the extortion victim’s head off and bury him in the backyard of his own house if he didn’t resume tribute payments discontinued after Big Al Bruno’s assassination in 2003. Depergola was with Bruno when he was shot to death in the parking lot of his Our Lady of Mount Carmel Social Club by hit man Frankie Roche dispatched by Bingy Ariollotta (today 48) via a pair of his lieutenants Freddy and Ty Geas, brothers and Arillotta’s main muscle. He was convicted of loan sharking in 2006. The younger Santaniello, Calabrese, Daniele and Valentini are all former mob running buddies of Arillotta’s. Amedeo Santaniello was once Bruno’s right-hand man until the pair had a falling out and Santaniello retreated to Florida in the late 1990s.