Leaders And Members Of Mafia Family Convicted Of Murder, Racketeering, And Other Crimes
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MATTHEW MADONNA, STEVEN L. CREA, CHRISTOPHER LONDONIO, and TERRENCE CALDWELL, were convicted today, after a six-week jury trial, of murder, conspiracy to commit racketeering, and other felonies. Fifteen other defendants have previously pled guilty to related charges.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “The violent and disturbing acts of these four organized crime figures included the brutal murder of associate Michael Meldish. Fittingly, all four defendants have been found guilty of their heinous acts of fraud, extortion, and murder on the six-year anniversary of Meldish’s death. Thanks to the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and NYPD, we will continue our commitment to making organized crime a thing of a bygone era.”
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, leading to Meldish’s murder on this date six years ago. As the Acting Boss of the Family, MADONNA also received payments from a host of other illegal activities, including the extortion of labor union members, loansharking, illegal gambling operations, and drug-trafficking.
CREA is the official Underboss, or second-in-command, of the Luchese Family. As the Underboss, he participated in MADONNA’s decision to kill Meldish, and relayed the order to lower-ranking members of the Family. As a member of the Family’s leadership, or “administration,” CREA also profited from the same illegal activities as MADONNA. CREA was personally involved in several criminal schemes, including fraud and extortion in a large construction project at a public hospital, the extortion of one of his subordinates, and ordering the assault of a relative.
LONDONIO is a made member of the Luchese Family. Acting under the orders of MADONNA and CREA, LONDONIO helped setup Meldish—a personal friend of LONDONIO’s—to be killed, and acted as the getaway driver for the murder. LONDONIO also carried firearms and other weapons, beat an associate of a rival crime family with a baseball bat, and personally participated in extortion, operating illegal gambling businesses, and drug-trafficking, among other crimes.
CALDWELL is an associate of the Luchese Family, who participated in its crimes but was not formally inducted as a member. On May 29, 2013, CALDWELL ambushed a member of the rival Bonanno Family in Manhattan. CALDWELL fired several shots into the victim’s car at close range and struck him once in the chest, but the victim survived. On November 15, 2013, CALDWELL carried out MADONNA’s and CREA’s orders to kill Michel 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.
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MADONNA, 84, of the Bronx, New York; CREA, 72, of Crestwood, New York; LONDONIO, 45, of Hartsdale, New York; and CALDWELL, 61, of Manhattan, New York, were each found guilty of one count of racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison; murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison; and use of a firearm in furtherance of murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
CREA was acquitted of one count of attempted murder and assault in aid of racketeering and one count of use of a firearm in furtherance of attempted murder and assault in aid of racketeering.
LONDONIO was also found guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. LONDONIO was acquitted of one count of attempting to escape from the Metropolitan Detention Center.
CALDWELL was also found guilty of one count of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, and one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the NYPD, the Department of Homeland Security Homeland Security Investigations, the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, and the Bureau of Prisons.
The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Hagan Scotten, Celia V. Cohen, Alexandra N. Rothman, Scott Hartman, and Jaqueline Kelly are in charge pf the prosecution; paralegal specialist Shannon Becker provided additional support.