Is NYPD Still Probing Luchese Mobster's Brutal Murder--And What of "Strange" OD Death in Rikers?

A uniquely American subculture of lifelong outlaws, made members and associates of organized crime are the enemies of society; they kill and steal probably more indiscriminately than citizens believe.

But we are a society based on the rule of law -- even the deaths of criminals, if not murderers themselves, is not something a lawful society countenances. 

Two recent deaths -- one a homicide, another an overdose with unanswered questions that raise many unresolved issues -- took place in the past year. Based on all our efforts we find law enforcement has made little headway -- at least as per public information.

Perhaps the investigations legitimately are stuck -- perhaps Riker's Island officials aren't interested.
We write this simply to raise awareness of these deaths. 
And the fact one is unsolved, the other unresolved.

In November 2016, a Staten Island man died at Rikers Island under what his family considers questionable circumstances. The man in question,  John Castellucci, was the son of a powerful chief of the Lucchese crime family's Brooklyn faction.

Rikers, New York City's main jail complex, sits on a 413.17-acre island on the East River (between Queens and the Bronx). The jailhouse is one of the world's largest institutions in both the correctional and mental health sectors.

Originally only one-fourth its present size, it was artificially expanded via the use of (perhaps fittingly, in this case) ash for landfill. Inmates made up the labor force.

The massive jailhouse complex has had a poor reputation as far back as we can remember.

A recent report, noted that Rikers is "often described by many as a 'hell on earth.'" The "many" includes "inmates, officers and staff alike." In fact, a new advertising campaign is calling for Rikers' closure.

In 2016, some 12,000 instances of violence reportedly occurred.

Castelle was only 27 years old when he died.

On Nov. 8, six days after he was brought to the Manhattan jail, Castelle "was found unresponsive at the Anna M. Kross Center at 8:40 a.m.," Department of Corrections (DOC) officials noted in a statement.

He's the son of Luchese crime family mobster John Castellucci. Yes, the names are spelled differently; however, John is known to use both names. His two brothers also use the surname Castelle.

A source messaged us, nothing that: "John Castelle is John Castellucci. He uses two different names... his son (is) Eugene Sonny Castelle."

Sonny Castelle

According to a family member, Castelle had suffered from an addiction to painkillers and sought treatment in Florida. He reportedly spent eight months in drug rehab. Then Castelle apparently had a relapse and was arrested in Boynton Beach for possession of heroin with intent to sell. The arrest violated the terms of his New York plea agreement.

An NYPD detective hopped on a plane and flew to Florida to escort Castelle to Rikers Island.

There are suspicious components to this case. For one thing, the Castelle family was permitted only to view a photograph of Castelle on a television screen. The family member noted: "They never showed the top of his head or below his neck..."

Castelle was laid to rest on Staten Island on Saturday, November 12.

As far as we can tell, no answers to any questions in this case have been answered.

According to jailhouse sources: A correction officer denied Castelle medical help hours prior to his death, another Rikers inmate claimed.

An inmate source told The News that Castelle had taken methadone, using another prisoner’s prescription before he died. The drug is prescribed to inmates recovering from opiate addiction. It’s typically administered in liquid form under close supervision, which jail insiders say raises questions about the inmate’s story.

About 2 a.m., Castelle started to vomit and was unable to stand upright, the inmate said. (He didn't want to be identified.)

"You could tell he was sick," the inmate said, noting that, in addition to the vomiting, he "wasn’t the right color."

Another inmate helped Castelle to the desk area to request medical assistance.

The corrections officer was sleeping, "and angrily dismissed them both," the inmate told the News.

At 8:40 a.m., Castelle was found unresponsive, according to records.

"A correction officer and medical staff tried CPR to no avail. After seven minutes, he was dead."

Castelle's mother, Lucille Tirado, has filed a notice of claim, alerting the city she intends to sue. She told the News: "I really don’t know what happened behind those closed walls. Something went wrong in there. Something definitely went wrong."

"Any death in custody is a tragedy. Commissioner (Joseph) Ponte extends his heartfelt condolences to Mr. Castelle’s family," Peter Thorne, the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information at the DOC, said.

His father and an array of Luchese wiseguys were busted this past May.


The brutal murder a few months ago of Carmine Carini Junior, a 35-year-old ex-con found dead in the waters off Brooklyn's Mill Basin at least reportedly had a lead, though little has been reported as to any followup information.

Carmine Carini Junior's body was wrapped in a blue tarp and chained to a cinder block, then it was dropped into an inlet off Avenue U and East 58th Street in South Brooklyn. Carini's body was found floating near a dock. Cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, the medical examiner’s office said.

His father, who has the same name, is a known Gambino mobster who served decades for a murder he didn't commit.

Detectives with the 63rd Police Precinct used fingerprints to identify Carini. Gang Land News confirmed he was a Luchese associate.

"The police were still trying to figure out why he was killed and his body dumped using a Mafia-style technique," the New York Times reported.

A man found last year wearing cement shoes recall was not the victim of a gangland hit.

Carini served five years for a series of armed robberies; his parole ended in October 2015.

Carini's body found in waters off Brooklyn.

In 2003 Carini Junior was arrested for robbing five people in a crime spree that involved Carini and another man wielding machetes and baseball bats.

Carini pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and was sentenced to five years. Released on parole in 2009, he was violated twice, in 2011 and 2014, for failing to adhere to conditions of parole.

Carini Jr was free in October 2015.

The younger Carini is survived by two young children, a son, and daughter, and a brother, news reports noted. Also it was reported that police are looking to question two of Carini Jr's friends who "went missing" the weekend the body was found, as Gang Land reported shortly after news of the killing was released.

Carini's missing friends, one law enforcement source told GLN, "are brothers" whose names were not released. "We're trying to determine whether they're suspects, or on the lam, or in the same condition as Carini," the source said.

Carini lived on the second floor of the same Mill Basin home on 64th street and National Drive where the brothers, who haven't been seen in several days, also resided. One street source reported to GLN: "The word in the neighborhood is that the brothers killed him and took off for Arizona, where they have some stuff going."