Luchese Capo Who Was Abruptly Returned To Prison Faces 13-Year Prison Sentence (Apparently)

After entering his plea on Tuesday before White Plains Federal Judge Cathy Seibel, reputed Luchese capo Steven Crea Jr. , 46, of New Rochelle, didn't get to return home (as he undoubtedly had hoped) to enjoy his last few months of freedom with his family before sentencing.
Steven Crea Junior.
Steven Crea Junior.

He was instead handcuffed and put in a prison cell.

Prosecutors had sought his immediate arrest after citing for the judge statutes mandating incarceration once a defendant is convicted of a violent crime.

Crea Jr. pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy and assault charges related to an unconsummated revenge scheme he and his father, Luchese underboss Steven (Stevie Wonder) Crea, cooked up to whack a Bonanno associate stemming from a bizarre 2012 clash between the Luchese and Bonanno families at a Bronx social club.

As per the indictment, Crea Senior ordered the murder of Carl Ulzheimer, a Bonanno crime family associate who lived in the Bronx in 2012, according to the Feds. Specifically, the Feds 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."

Stevie Wonder allegedly warned Ulzheimer during the encounter: “I’ll remember your face.”

"To avenge this supposed offense, Crea Sr. ordered his son, Steven D. Crea to have the Associate killed."

The order then was passed to Luchese gunsels Vincent Bruno and Paul (Paulie Roast Beef) Cassano.

On a subsequent night, the two traveled to Ulzheimer’s Bronx residence, where a pistol-toting Bruno tried to find and gun down Ulzheimer, but failed.

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

Last year Bruno pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder in aid of racketeering and one count of conspiracy, and faces up to 15 years. Cassano pleaded guilty to conspiring "to commit an assault with a deadly weapon" and his recommended "sentencing guidelines" call for a prison term from 12 to 18 months.

Crea Junior also admitted to committing extortion and gambling offenses during his 17-year involvement in a racketeering enterprise (aka the Luchese crime family), beginning in 2000.

One thing he didn't cop to was the Feds' allegation of his involvement in murdering Luchese associate Michael Meldish in 2013 in the Bronx.  Crea Jr.'s plea did not include admission to any role in that murder.

He is expected to wrangle a 13-year prison sentence when sentenced on December 19.

At least that's what's been widely reported. Still, if we were Crea Jr. and had read Gang Land News this week, we'd probably have a pretty significant case of the heebie-jeebies.

First there's: Crea Jr. could've got off with less time in prison--a 10-year sentence, rather than 13 years--had he only admitted to playing a role in the 2013 Michael Meldish murder.

Which makes zero sense. Now we're speaking only from a visceral, physical level. So he's getting a longer stretch because he didn't kill someone? Exactly what kind of mind-fckery is at work here?

Then there's: "Crea Jr.'s plea agreement states very clearly that on sentencing day, the maximum prison term he faces is 13 years," yet the agreement "also states that for sentencing purposes, his crimes include the Meldish homicide, and that if not for the limited statutory maximum, his sentencing guidelines would be 360 months to life."

"The defendant admits that the murder of Michael Meldish was within the scope of the criminal activity jointly undertaken by the defendant, in furtherance of that criminal activity, and reasonably foreseeable to the defendant in connection with that criminal activity."

Gang Land asked Crea Jr.'s attorneys about the inclusion of this language in Crea Junior's plea agreement. Why go into such detail to spell out a homicide that the defendant did not cop to participating in? The attorneys replied by saying, Nope, nothing to see here, and minimized by explaining that all that murder language was nothing, really, and had actually appeared only in a harmless "footnote."

Overall, that part of the agreement only pertained to "complicated sentencing guidelines calculations" and not to any crime that their client committed, the attorneys replied.

Crea Jr's attorneys also noted in a joint statement: "Steven did not allocute to the Meldish murder because he is not guilty of that crime. He turned down a plea offer of 10 years rather than plead to that conduct."

Apparently some wordsmith for the prosecution must've interjected what we'd characterize as a strong sense of DREAD into these (already dreadful?) proceedings.

Surveillance image from Stagno shooting.
Surveillance image from Stagno shooting. Allegedly it's Terence Caldwell.

Stevie Wonder, former acting boss Mathew (Matty) Madonna, soldier Christopher Londonio, and associate Terence Caldwell still face a slew of charges, including plotting and carrying out the Meldish hit, with Londonio and Caldwell the two alleged direct participants, Londonio as wheelman, and Caldwell, shooter.

The case also includes another Bonanno mobster — a soldier.

Enzo (The Baker) Stagno, of Whitestone, Queens, allegedly was shot in the chest at around 6 p.m. in June 2013 on an East Harlem street while sitting in his parked SUV and making a call.

The Feds allege it was by the Lucheses, with Caldwell again the actual shooter and the mastermind/wheelman a dead man: Meldish himself.

Nineteen members and associates of the Luchese family were charged in a May 2017 superseding indictment with numerous crimes, including racketeering, murder, narcotics, and firearms offenses.