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United States v. Santaniello

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

December 20, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
RALPH SANTANIELLO, Defendant.

          ORDER ON APPEAL

          TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Background

         Ralph Santaniello (“Santaniello”) has been charged with Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Threats or Violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1951 (Count I), Interference with Commerce by Threats or Violence and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951 & 2 (Count II); and Conspiracy to Use Extortionate Means to Collect Extensions of Credit, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 894(a)(Count V). The Government moved to detain Santaniello on dangerousness grounds.

         A hearing was held before Magistrate Judge Robertson on August 11, 2016. On August 16, 2016, Magistrate Judge Robertson issued an order detaining Santaniello after finding that the Government had established by clear and convincing evidence that he posed a danger to the community if released and that there were no conditions, or combination of conditions, that would sufficiently ameliorate the risks if he were released. See Detention Order Ralph Santaniello (Docket No. 41). More specifically, Judge Robertson found that Santaniello is charged with crimes that inherently involve at least the threat of violence, that the strength of the Government's case against him is strong, that he assaulted Victim 1 and otherwise engaged with him in a threatening manner, and that he had an early history of convictions involving crimes of violence, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Santaniello has filed an appeal of the order of detention.[1]

         Discussion

         Santaniello's History and Characteristics; Proposed Conditions

         Santaniello is a long term resident of the community and has strong family ties. He has a long history of criminal convictions, summarized as follows:

On April 8, 1987, Santaniello was arraigned in Hampden County Superior Court on a three count indictment charging Assault and Battery, Unarmed Robbery and Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon. On June 10, 1987, Santaniello was arraigned in Hampden County Superior Court on a four count indictment charging two counts of Threatening to Commit Murder and two counts of Intimidation of a Witness. On December 22, 1987, Santaniello pled guilty to all counts of the April 8, 1987 and June 10, 1987 indictments. He was sentenced to 2½ years confinement, with the sentence suspended for a period of three years of probation on the Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. No sentence was imposed on the remaining charges. On February 1, 1990, Santaniello's probation was revoked for a conviction on a new Assault and Battery indictment and he was sentenced to 2 ½ years confinement.
On January 6, 1989, Santaniello was arraigned on a single count indictment in Hampden County Superior Court for providing a False Statement. He was convicted on May 5, 1989, and ordered to pay a fine of $325.
On May 1, 1989, Santaniello was arrested for Operating Under the Influence (OUI). On August 23, 1989, Santaniello was sentenced to probation.
On October 2, 1989, Santaniello was arraigned in Hampden County District Court on a single count of Disorderly Conduct. On February 2, 1990, Santaniello admitted to facts sufficient to find him guilty of the charge and his case was dismissed after a three month probationary sentence.
On January 12, 1990, Santaniello was arraigned on a two count indictment in Hampden County Superior Court charging Malicious Destruction of Property and Assault and Battery. On February 13, 1990, Santaniello was convicted of both charges and sentenced to two years in prison.
On November 24, 1992, Santaniello was arraigned on a seven count indictment in Hampden County Superior Court charging Armed Assault in a Dwelling, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, three counts of Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Intimidation of a Witness, and Malicious Destruction to Property. On June 2, 1993, Santaniello pled guilty and was sentenced to five years of probation for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, three counts of Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Intimidation of a Witness, and Malicious Destruction to Property. The Armed Assault in a Dwelling indictment was nolle prossed.
On June 2, 1993, Santaniello was arraigned on a single count indictment in Hampden County Superior Court charging Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. On the same date, Santaniello pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to a term of five years' probation, concurrent ...

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