Mob Trial Of 2019: Five Luchese Wiseguys Face Jury For Murder of Former Purple Gang Boss In March

One up and died. Another was apparently cut loose. At least two face more than a decade in prison, and two others just under that.....

Matty Madonna
Matty Madonna

They were among the 19 Luchese made members and associates who were nabbed in a 2017 sweep for murder, attempted-murder, extortion, and gun- and drug-trafficking charges, and other offenses. (Technically, four were already behind bars; this was a superseding indictment.)

Five go on trial in March for the murder of former Purple Gang boss Michael Meldish, among other crimes.

The indictment, a so-called "Christmas Tree RICO," included mobsters allegedly involved in different crimes, some overlapping, all of which are packaged together for procedural purposes. In many Christmas Tree RICO cases, most of the indicted belong to the same crime family (in this case, obviously they do), but they don’t face the same charges.

Following is a list of the names of the indicted, age at the time of the indictment, their locations at the time of the sweep, and their reputed ranks:

Matthew Madonna, 81, incarcerated; street boss
Steven “Wonder Boy” Crea Sr., 69, Yonkers, New York; underboss
Joseph DiNapoli, 81, Bronx, New York; consiglieri
Steven Crea Jr., 45, New Rochelle, New York; captain
Dominic Truscello, 83, Staten Island, New York; captain
John “Big John” Castelucci, 57, Staten Island, New York; captain
Tindaro “Tino” Corso, 56, Staten Island, New York; captain
Joseph Venice, 56, Yonkers, New York; soldier
James “Jimmy the Jew” Maffucci, 69, Manhattan, New York; soldier
Joseph “Joey Glasses,” “Big Joe” Datello, 66, Staten Island, New York; soldier
Christopher Londonio, 43, incarcerated; soldier
Paul “Paulie Roast Beef” Cassano, 38, Yonkers, New York; soldier
Terrence “T” Caldwell, 59, incarcerated; associate
Vincent Bruno, 33, incarcerated; associate
Brian Vaughan, 51, Matawan, New Jersey; associate
Carmine “Spanish Carmine” Garcia, Hawthorne, New Jersey; associate
Richard O’Connor, 63, Staten Island, New York; associate
Robert Camilli, 60, Briarcliff Manor, New York; associate
John Incatasciato, 42, Elmsford, New York; associate

Going to trial in March for the 2013 Bronx murder of former Purple Gang boss Michael Meldish are the Creas, Madonna, Londonio, and Caldwell.

Madonna allegedly ordered the Meldish hit over a $100,000 debt; Londonio is charged with being the wheel man in the Meldish murder, and Caldwell with being the actual shooter. (All three were already in prison when they were charged in the sweep.)

According to reports, prosecutors are seeking to highlight the Purple Gang ties of Madonna and Caldwell. As per Gang Land News "dozens" of witnesses will be called to detail Madonna's days as a Purple Gang drug runner and portray Caldwell as part of a black drug trafficking gang tied to the Purple Gang.

Crea Sr. and Crea Jr. are also charged with the Meldish murder, an attempt to have a Bonanno associate killed, and other crimes.

Prosecutors also are seeking to link Crea Senior to major labor racketeering cases in the 1980s. 

They also are seeking to highlight for the jury Crea Junior's alleged violent roots with the so-called Tanglewood Boys. Crea Junior was allowed out on bail, which is highly unusual in such a mob murder racketeering case.

Other sanctioned attempted murders in the indictment:

  • Stevie Wonder faces charges for ordering Luchese soldier Joseph (Joey Glasses) Datello to New Hampshire "to find, assault and kill" a cooperating witness last October. 
  • In late 2012, the Creas ordered others to whack a mob associate who had disrespected Crea Sr. They traveled to the Bonanno gangster's "home, armed with a gun" but apparently never used it. 
  • On May 29, 2013, Caldwell allegedly shot Enzo the Baker Stagno. 

As for the rest....
First, let us doff our fedoras to Dominic Truscello, who was a co-defendant of Stevie Wonder Crea and Joey Glasses Datello in a big state labor racketeering case in 2000. This time, Dom beat the rap by dying on July 26, 2018, at age 84 following a long illness. His case was still pending. He was laid to rest at the Madonna Cemetery and Mausoleum in Fort Lee, NJ.

Vincent Bruno pleaded 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 pleaded guilty carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Joseph Datello, who copped a plea last September, was sentenced to 14 years in prison earlier this month, on January 4. Datello pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering, including the attempted murder of a witness, narcotics trafficking, and collecting debts through the threat of violence, as per Federal court records.

According to federal court proceedings, Castellucci and DiNapoli pleaded guilty, and Corso’s case is still pending.

Spanish Carmine, who has heart problems, copped a plea deal to racketeering and assault charges calling for eight years in prison.

Joe Venice, described as “a longtime crony of the Luchese underboss,”pleaded guilty to labor racketeering charges stemming from a lucrative kickback scheme involving a $30 million expansion project at a Bronx hospital. In his plea deal, Venice admitted to submitting two "fraudulently inflated" bills in 2012 that tallied up to $80,000 for work at the hospital in a "wire and mail fraud" scheme that involved Stevie Wonder Crea and Randolph (Randy) Silverstein, the president of the general contractor used for the project, the Sparrow Construction Company. Silverstein was not charged.

Jimmy the Jew’s case was still pending.

Vaughn pleaded out, too. Judge Seibel credited Vaughan with stepping back from his drug-dealing ways, but stated that he should have done so sooner. She sentenced him to seven years — six months more than the minimum.

She had nothing to say about the FBI's repeated pressure to make Vaughan do drug deals, which he steadily rejected. He was sentenced to a separate five years that will run concurrently.

The case against associate O’Connor was dismissed.

Charged only with racketeering, loansharking and extortion, and facing up to 20 years if convicted are associates Camilli and Incatasciato. (Can't find an update on these two; assume both cases are also pending.)

Cassano pled guilty to attempted assault in aid of racketeering.

Have any information you want to send us about this case, or anything else, while we're at it? How about the 61-page filing prosecutors sent detailing their strategy of highlighting the Purple Gang? Email us, always email us at: cosanostranews at gmail dot com

Working on one more part to this.....