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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 27, 2020

Leader And Members Of Mob Family Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder, Racketeering, And Other Crimes

Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MATTHEW MADONNA, the Acting Boss of the Luchese Family, CHRISTOPHER LONDONIO, a soldier in the Luchese Family, and TERRENCE CALDWELL, an associate of the Luchese Family, were sentenced today to life in prison following their conviction for the 2013 murder of Michael Meldish, conspiracy to commit racketeering, and other felonies.  A jury convicted MADONNA, LONDONIO, CALDWELL, and Steven L. Crea, the Underboss of the Luchese Family, on November 15, 2019, following a six-week trial before U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel, who also imposed today’s sentences.  CREA will be sentenced at a later date.[1] 

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Matty Madonna, Christopher Londonio, and Terrence Caldwell – respectively, the Acting Boss, a soldier, and an associate of the Luchese Family – were responsible for the execution-style murder of Michael Meldish seven years ago.  Madonna ordered it, Londonio set it up, and Caldwell pulled the trigger.  Now all three have been sentenced to serve the rest of their lives in federal prison.  Thanks to the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and NYPD, we continue our commitment to render La Cosa Nostra a thing of the past.”

According to the evidence presented at trial, and other court documents:

Until his arrest in this case, MADONNA was the Acting Boss of the Luchese Family of La Cosa Nostra, one of the “Five Families” that constitute the Mafia in the New York City area.  In 2013, MADONNA became displeased with Michael Meldish, a longtime organized crime associate who had refused to collect debts owed to MADONNA.  MADONNA ordered Meldish killed.  Acting under the orders of MADONNA and Crea, LONDONIO helped set up Meldish – a personal friend of LONDONIO’s – to be killed, and acted as the getaway driver for the murder.  CALDWELL carried out MADONNA’s and Crea’s orders to kill Meldish.  CALDWELL met Meldish and drove with him to a Bronx neighborhood to meet LONDONIO.  As Meldish got out of his car, CALDWELL shot him once in the head, killing him instantly.  CALDWELL then drove off with LONDONIO.  For their participation in the Meldish murder, MADONNA, LONDONIO, and CALDWELL were each convicted at trial of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, and use of a firearm in furtherance of murder in aid of racketeering.

In addition, MADONNA, 84, of the Bronx, New York, LONDONIO, 45, of Hartsdale, New York, and CALDWELL, 61, of New York, New York, were also convicted of racketeering conspiracy; CALDWELL was convicted of attempted murder in aid of racketeering and discharging a firearm in furtherance of attempted murder in aid of racketeering arising out of his May 29, 2013, ambush of a member of the rival Bonanno Family in Manhattan; and LONDONIO was convicted of conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

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Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Hagan Scotten, Celia V. Cohen, and Alexandra N. Rothman, were in charge of the trial and sentencings.

 

[1] Like MADONNA, LONDONIO, and CALDWELL, Crea is subject to a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Jim Margolin, Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
20-155
Updated July 27, 2020