Where Is Former Luchese Acting Boss Matty Madonna? At Westchester County Medical Center Recovering From COVID-19

Matthew (Matty) Madonna is 84 and would be prime fodder for COVID-19, but he's also a longtime mobster who made it to the pinnacle of organized crime in New York City -- and in July of this year he was sentenced to life in prison without parole for murder.

Matthew Madonna

Yet only two months later and he's not in prison, according to the BOP inmate locator site.

But a letter (see below) dated July 14 from Madonna's representatives at the law firm Dratel & Lewis (originally posted in the comment section courtesy of the New York Mafia website staff) reports that Madonna is at the Westchester County Medical Center continuing to recover from a "serious" bout of COVID-19 that caused him to lose 40 pounds in a two-week period.

Former Luchese mobster John Pennisi, who we've been writing about, told us, "I heard he had COVID--hope he didn’t pass away?" (No, John, apparently he's hanging in there....)

As previously noted, imprisoned wiseguys have been leveraging the threat of COVID-19 to argue for “compassionate release" and get out of prison.

According to the BOP, as of October 1, 2020, there were 126,618 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,249 in community-based facilities. BOP has about 36,000 people on staff. Of those numbers: 1,813 federal inmates and 733 BOP staff have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide. Of them, 13,192 inmates and 1,148 staff have recovered, while 124 federal inmates and 2 BOP staff members have had deaths attributed to COVID-19. Of the inmate deaths, 4 occurred while the inmate was on home confinement.

Several gangland figures reportedly have died from the novel coronavirus malady, including longtime Bonanno soldier Ronald (Ronnie Mozzarella) Carlucci, who died on April 16 at age of 77; Joseph Zito, a powerful Genovese soldier, who died on April 7 at the age of 83; and Gambino soldier Augustine (Augie) Guido, who died on March 28 at age 79.

Madonna was one of three wiseguys and an associate sentenced to life in prison for murder this past summer.  

Reputed Luchese soldier Christopher Londonio, 45, associate Terrence Caldwell, 61, and Steven L. Crea, 73, alleged underboss, were sentenced this past summer, having been convicted by a jury in 2019 for the Bronx murder of former Purple Gang leader Michael Meldish, who had been a Luchese associate when he was killed on Madonna's orders in a dispute over money. 

Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the sentences, which were imposed by U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel, as per a media release.

Strauss said: “Matty Madonna, Christopher London is, and Terrence Caldwell – respectively, the Acting Boss, a soldier, and an associate of the Luchese Family – were responsible for the execution-style murder of Michael Meldish seven years ago. Madonna ordered it, Londonio set it up, and Caldwell pulled the trigger. Now all three have been sentenced to serve the rest of their lives in federal prison.”

Until his arrest in this case, Madonna was the acting boss of the Luchese family, one of the “Five Families” that constitute the Mafia in the New York City area. The official boss, Vittorio (Vic) Amuso, was sentenced to life in prison in the 1990s for racketeering, including multiple murders.

Nicky Barnes
The headline and nickname that made law enforcement fume.

Back in the 1950s, while serving time in Green Haven State Prison, a Harlem drug dealer with aspirations (and delusions of grander) met and was deeply impressed by a mob associate named Matty Madonna and a Colombo wiseguy named Joseph (Crazy Joe) Gallo

He admired their expertise and used it to "reshape his approach to the heroin trade," according to the Courtroom Sketches of Ida Libby Dengrove website. 

Back on the street, that dealer evolved into Harlem drug kingpin Leroy (Nicky) Barnes and he created his own Mafia by bringing together prominent African American drug traffickers and forming what he named The Council. (It has been described as a "veritable carbon copy of the Mafia’s command structure.")

Barnes became known as Mr. Untouchable—for repeatedly evading prosecution--and in the 1970s, Madonna supplied him with heroin (and Crazy Joey was whacked).

By November 1976, fortune had changed for Madonna, who was nailed and on trial with two others—Salvatore Larca from the Bronx and Richard Klinger from Orange, Calif. 

Right after the jury convicted the trio for conspiracy to smuggle heroin from Thailand into the US following a two-week trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan, the prosecutor, John P. Flannery, told Judge Robert L. Carter that the wife of the Government's chief witness against Madonna had disappeared and was presumed kidnapped in an attempt to prevent the witness from testifying.

The missing wife, Leslie Boriello, had been married to Joseph Boriello, one of four who pleaded guilty before the trial and had agreed to testify for the prosecution.

A grand jury was impaneled to investigate her disappearance.

Madonna and the others were convicted on one count of conspiracy involving the illegal importation of 12 pounds of pure heroin in July 1975 from Bangkok. Madonna and Larca were also found guilty of one count of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute.

Madonna didn't get out of prison until the 1990s and was then inducted into the Luchese crime family.

And wear a damn mask, people...


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