WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A Westchester man with alleged mafia ties is facing life in prison or the death penalty after being indicted on murder and racketeering charges that include a reported hit on a rival mob family.
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York said on Monday that Hartsdale resident Christopher Londonio, 43, and Manhattan resident Terrance Caldwell, 58, have been charged with offenses related to a 2013 murder and “their participation in a long-running racketeering conspiracy composed of leaders, members and associates of La Cosa Nostra, also known as the Mafia.
According to Bharara, beginning in 2011, through this year, both men and other members of La Cosa Nostra committed a series of crime that includes murder, assault, robbery, extortion, gambling and narcotics trafficking. In the indictment, which was unsealed last week, Londonio and Caldwell are implicated in the November 15, 2013 murder of Michael Meldish in the Bronx.
“Hollywood and popular fiction almost romanticize the mob, so much so the general public may not know it exists in real life anymore,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney, Jr. said in a statement. “However, the crimes members are accused of taking part in are violent and all too real for their victims. The men charged in this case allegedly committed murder, robbery, dealing illegal drugs and extortion to only name a few.”
Londonio and Caldwell were each charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to furthering a crime and carry and using a firearm that was discharged during a crime of violence.
Caldwell was also charged with assault and attempted murder for his role in the shooting of a Bonanno Family member three and a half years ago. A pre-trial conference for both men has been scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 15.
“The mob continues to kill and maim in the name of La Cosa Nostra, and as alleged, Christopher Londonio and Terrance Caldwell did just that,” Bharara added. “In a misguided show of allegiance to this violent way of life, Londonio and Caldwell allegedly murdered Michael Meldish and attempted to kill a Bonanno Family soldier.
“We thank the FBI, the NYPD, and the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for their dedication that led to the federal racketeering charges announced today.”