Luchese Mobster Pleads Guilty To 2012 Attempt To Whack Bonanno Mobster

A Luchese mobster faces 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder in federal court in White Plains, authorities announced this week.

Stevie Crea in 1983 when he faced a murder charge.

Vincent Bruno, 34, was among 19 reputed mobsters arrested in a May 2017 sweep that targeted what has been described as "the Lower Hudson Valley's most notorious organized-crime figures," a roster that includes alleged Luchese underboss Steven "Wonder Boy" Crea of Tuckahoe.

The press got plenty of mileage out of the case based on the alleged gangsters' nicknames, which included "Joey Glasses" and "Jimmy the Jew."

Bruno pleaded guilty to attempted murder in aid of a racketeering conspiracy on Thursday (September 13) before United States Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison. Specifically, he pleaded to attempting to kill, and conspiring to kill, a Bronx man described as a Bonanno associate, in 2012.

Last Year's Big Luchese Indictment
In May 2017, Bruno and 18 other members and associates of the Luchese crime family were arrested and charged in a nine-count indictment for involvement in offenses including racketeering, murder, attempted murder, narcotics trafficking, and gun crimes. Some of the Luchese mobsters named in the indictment are charged with the 2013 execution murder of Luchese associate Michael Meldish in front of his Bronx home.

Since the unsealing of the indictment, Bruno and nine other defendants have pleaded guilty, and have been or will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said yesterday in a press release: “Bruno’s attempt to murder a man at the behest of his mob superiors has ended where it should: With Bruno behind bars. We will continue to work with the FBI and our other partners in law enforcement to stamp out the remnants of La Cosa Nostra.”

Six of the 19 in the indictment are from Westchester County. Crea's son, Steven Jr., a 45-year-old New Rochelle resident, was charged as an alleged captain in the Lucchese crime family. Paul (Paulie Roast Beef) Cassano was one of two reputed mobsters from Yonkers caught up in the sweep. The other is Joseph Venice, identified as a soldier in the family.

Also charged were Robert Camilli of Briarcliff Manor and John Incatasciato of Elmsford.

Crea ordered Bruno and alleged Yonkers mobster Paul "Paulie Roast Beef" Cassano to kill Carl Ulzheimer, a Bonanno crime family associate who lived in the Bronx in 2012, according to the Feds.

Specifically, the Feds have alleged that in 2012, "armed members and associates of the Bonanno Family of La Cosa Nostra forced their way into a Bronx social club controlled by the Luchese Family." During the ensuing confrontation, Ulzheimer, a Bonanno associate, "acted in a manner that a leader of the Luchese Family, Steven L. Crea perceived as a personal affront. To avenge this supposed offense, Crea Sr. ordered his son, Steven D. Crea to have the Associate killed." Crea Jr. passed the order to Paul Cassano and Bruno. On a subsequent night, the two traveled to Ulzheimer’s Bronx residence, where Bruno, hefting a pistol, tried to find Ulzheimer and kill him, but failed.

"The dispute between the rival families was then resolved before the murder was carried out."

Bruno, 34, pled guilty to one count of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and one count of conspiracy against the United States. In total, the counts to which he pled guilty carry a maximum sentence of 15 years. He will be sentenced before Judge Seibel.

In conjunction with the attempted murder of Ulzheimer, Cassano pled guilty to attempted assault in aid of racketeering in 2017. Crea Sr. and Crea Jr. are also charged with attempting to have Ulzheimer killed and other crimes, and are scheduled to begin trial before Judge Seibel in 2019.

Stevie Crea, left, Matty Madonna

Gang Land News last month described it as the "biggest Mafia trial of the year — in White Plains Federal Court, that is" and added that it will feature "one of the best mob turncoats that the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office has had in years, along with another snitch who has been a total dud..."

Jerry Capeci was referring to Anthony Zoccolillo as among the best, noting that while he "struck out in 2012 as a Mama's Boy in the Mama's Boys of the Bronx reality TV show... (he) was a smash hit as a mob turncoat in 2013 and 2014 — at the October 1 racketeering trial of five Luchese mobsters and associates charged with a 17-year-long racketeering enterprise."

Turncoat Bonanno capo Peter (Petey B.S) Lovaglio is the total dud; he singularly was a "flop" at Philadelphia mob boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino's February trial.

Crea, his son Steven D. Crea, and three others are charged with the 2013 murder of former Purple Gang leader Michael Meldish.

Capeci, in the same August story, noted that Bruno's effort to kill the Bonanno associate "was the focal point of several embarrassing misstatements that prosecutors ... made about evidence they had against Stevie Junior Crea, Bruno, and soldier Paul (Paulie Roast Beef) Cassano during several bail hearings."

Specifically,  "prosecutors wrongly told two judges" that the FBI had tape recorded Bruno admitting his involvement -- along with the involvement of the Creas and Cassano in a failed plot to whack the Bonanno associate. The Feds also misstated a date, which put the plot "within the five-year-statute of limitations for the crime." Also, prosecutors incorrectly claimed there had been more than one attempt.