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Breaking News: Murder Trial Starts In Killing Of 16-year-Old Westchester Girl
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Two From Westchester Among Lucchese Family Mobsters Found Guilty In Brutal Hit Of Gang Leader

Scales of justice
Scales of justice Photo Credit: Pixabay

Four accused mobsters, including two from Westchester, were convicted of murder, conspiracy to commit racketeering, and other felonies that could land them in prison for life.

Christopher Londonio, 45, of Hartsdale, and Steven L. Crea, 72, of the Crestwood section of Yonkers were found guilty Friday, Nov. 15 after a six-week jury trial on an assortment of charges, including conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering for the 2013 execution of notorious gang leader Michael Meldish.

“The violent and disturbing acts of these four organized crime figures included the brutal murder of associate Michael Meldish," United States Attorney for the Southern District Geoffrey S. Berman said. "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.”

Also convicted were Matthew Madonna, 84, of the Bronx and Terrence Caldwell, 61, of Manhattan.

Londonio is a made member of the Lucchese Family, acting under the orders of Madonna and Crea, prosecutors said.

Londonio helped set up Meldish — a personal friend of Londonio's — to be killed, and acted as the getaway driver for the murder, according to the indictment, which added that 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.

Crea was the official underboss, or second-in-command (under Madonna), of the Luchese Family, prosecutors said.

As the underboss, he participated in Madonna’s decision to kill Meldish, and relayed the order to lower-ranking members of the family, including Londonio.

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, said prosecutors.

The four were all 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 10 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.

Londonio was also found guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He was acquitted of one count of attempting to escape from the Metropolitan Detention Center.

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.

A total of 15 other defendants have previously pleaded guilty to related charges.

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