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Two indicted for murder of 'Mafia hitman' in the Bronx





Two indicted for murder of 'Mafia hitman' in the Bronx Two indicted for murder of 'Mafia hitman' in the Bronx
  • Christopher Londonio and Terrance Caldwell have been charged with murder 
  • They were indicted in the killing of 'mafia hitman' Michael Meldish in 2013 
  • The two face three life sentences and a number of mob-related charges
  • They are suspected members of La Cosa Nostra, also known as the Italian Mob 

Two mobsters face three life sentences and number of additional charges in the execution-style death of a rival gangster in 2013.

Christopher Londonio, 43, and Terrance Caldwell, 58, allegedly shot Michael Meldish in the head while he sat in his car in the Bronx.

Prosecutors say the slaying was a result of a beef between 'families' of La Cosa Nostra - also known as the Italian Mob.

The two New York natives were apprehended in 2015 for the killing, but now face trial for a slew of charges announced on Monday.

They include racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder, murder, and firearms offenses. 

 Christopher Londonio, 43, faces three life sentences and number of additional charges in the execution-style death of a rival gangster in 2013Terrance Caldwell, 58, allegedly shot Michael Meldish in the head while he sat in his car in the Bronx, which prosecutors attribute to beef between 'families' of La Cosa Nostra - also known as the Italian Mob 

Christopher Londonio, 43, and Terrance Caldwell, 58, allegedly shot Michael Meldish in the head while he sat in his car in the Bronx, which prosecutors attribute to beef between 'families' of La Cosa Nostra - also known as the Italian Mob

The indictment, which was filed on Wednesday in White Plains, New York federal court, alleges that on November 15, 2013, Londonio and Caldwell murdered Michael Meldish in the vicinity of Baisley Avenue and Ellsworth Avenue in the Bronx.

His body was discovered by a resident of the family neighborhood, Janet Forbes, who noticed the car door ajar and found 62-year-old Meldish inside, with 'blood coming out of his ears,' the New York Daily News reported.

Meldish's death was met with celebration from law enforcement officers, who called him a 'stone-cold killer,' believing him to have carried out at least 10 murders on the orders of the Mafia throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Joseph Coffey, former commanding officer of the NYPD's organized crime homicide task force, said at the time: 'It should have happened a long time ago,' he added. 'I call it vermin killing vermin — poetic justice.' 

 His body was discovered by a resident of the family neighborhood, Janet Forbes, who noticed the car door ajar and found 62-year-old Meldish inside, with 'blood coming out of his ears,'Meldish's death was met with celebration from law enforcement officers, who called him a 'stone-cold killer,' believing him to have carried out at least 10 murders on the orders of the Mafia throughout the 1970s and 1980s 

Meldish's death was met with celebration from law enforcement officers, who called him a 'stone-cold killer,' believing him to have carried out at least 10 murders on the orders of the Mafia throughout the 1970s and 1980s

Meldish was reportedly the co-leader of The Purple Gang - and controlled drug trade in the Bronx and Harlem during the 1970s and 1980s.

The colorfully named gang was allegedly known for killing and dismembering their victims - dominating the heroin industry in New York at the time.

 Michael Meldish's brother and partner-in-crime Joseph is currently serving 25 years in prison for a murder in 1999 - but is suspected of committing more than 70 contract killings

Michael Meldish's brother and partner-in-crime Joseph is currently serving 25 years in prison for a murder in 1999 - but is suspected of committing more than 70 contract killings

Londonio and Caldwell face three charges that carry life sentences - two which could earn them the death penalty: murder in aid of racketeering and firearms charges that resulted in the death of another.

Caldwell also faces additional charges in the attempted murder of the Bonnano crime family 'soldier'  in the vicinity of First Avenue and 111th Street, in Manhattan in 2013 - assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering.

According to the US Attorney's Office, La Cosa Nostra operates through entities known as 'Families.' In the New York City area, those include the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, Bonanno, Colombo, and Decavalcante Families. 

Each Family operates through groups of individuals known as 'crews' and 'regimes.' Eavery 'crew' has a leader, known as a 'Caporegime,' 'Capo,' 'Captain,' or 'Skipper,' who is responsible for supervising the criminal activities of his crew.

They also provide 'soldiers' and associates with support and protection. In return, the Capo typically receives a share of the illegal earnings of each of his crew's Soldiers and associates, which is sometimes referred to as tribute.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: 'The mob continues to kill and maim in the name of La Cosa Nostra, and as alleged, Christopher Londonio and Terrance Caldwell did just that.

'In a misguided show of allegiance to this violent way of life, Londonio and Caldwell allegedly murdered Michael Meldish and attempted to kill a Bonanno Family soldier. 

'We thank the FBI, the NYPD, and the Bronx County District Attorney's Office for their dedication that led to the federal racketeering charges announced today.' 

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said: 'Hollywood and popular fiction almost romanticize the mob, so much so the general public may not know it exists in real life anymore.

However, the crimes members are accused of taking part in are violent and all too real for their victims. The men charged in this case allegedly committed murder, robbery, dealing illegal drugs and extortion to only name a few. 

The FBI Organized Crime Task Force investigates these families and their string of criminal behavior each day, proving the mob is still a legitimate threat to the community.'


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