White Plains Federal Judge Cathy Seibel denied a motion from Lucchese crime family leader Matthew Madonna to be released on a $250,000 bond.
The judge stated that although he was unlikely to flee his extensive criminal history showed that he was likely to commit further crimes. Madonna floated the idea of the judge allowing him out so that he could resume working at Big Geyser beverage company but the judge noted that he was arrested in both 2009 and 2010 while employed there and later convicted on illegal gambling charges. The veteran New York Mafia leader supposedly oversaw the companies refrigeration system and company CEO Lewis Hershkowitz had even agreed to co-sign the bond. Although the bond hearing didn’t go Madonna’s way the continued problems with the feds’ case against him and his fellow Lucchese family wiseguys may be an even bigger win.
One of the prosecutions key witnesses is mafia turncoat Frank Pasqua III who was arrested again on drug dealing and gun charges. This latest arrest puts his already shaky status as a key witness in the case in serious jeopardy. Pasqua flipped four years ago after being hit with a drug charge and agreeing to cooperate with the feds. He supplied the feds with information about the murder of former Purple Gang leader Michael Meldish and the Lucchese family for which he was an associate. His father Frank Pasqua Jr. is a soldier in the Cosa Nostra family which allowed him to get close to other members.
He was able to record conversations with his father and alleged mobster Christopher Londonio who is accused of being the getaway driver in the 2013 Meldish hit. But Pasqua has proven to be very unreliable when it comes to recalling what happened to Meldish. When he first began cooperating he told the feds that he witnessed his father carry out the mafia hit. He said it happened while he and his dad were visiting Meldish in the Bronx “he was parked nearby as his dad talked to Meldish in another car parked in front of him when he heard what he thought was a car door slam. Seconds later, his dad walked back to their car and told him, “It’s done. And if anybody asks, say that you did it, so you can get the credit for it.”
But he was unable to get his father or anyone else on record implicating themselves in the crime. In fact, his whole account of what happened was proven to be totally wrong and the judge in the case slammed prosecutors for it during a bail hearing last year for Steven Crea Jr. But prosecutors said that Pasqua wasn’t intentionally trying to mislead anyone he simply misconstrued what happened that night. Prosecutors said Pasqua III merely “misinterpreted what Pasqua Jr.” had meant by his remark and “reached a (wrong) conclusion about what had happened” and realized he was mistaken when Londonio and mob associate Terrence Caldwell were arrested for it in 2015.
The judge not only questioned Pasqua’s credibility but also some of the decisions made by the prosecution. The feds have another witness a jailhouse snitch who claims Londonio confessed to the mafia hit while they were locked up. According to prosecutors “Londonio spoke to the snitch about the Meldish murder while they were incarcerated together” and he admitted not only his role, but Caldwell’s, and that “Meldish had disrespected ‘the boss,’ who then ordered Meldish killed.” This snitch is a drug-abusing serial bank robber and the defense who’s credibility has also been questioned by both the defense and the judge.
Prosecutors still claim they have ample evidence that proves Madonna gave to order to have Meldish killed based on mafia protocol. A hit of that nature would have had to been approved by the families boss, namely Madonna, according to the feds. They also claimed there was ample evidence to prove that the hit was carried out by Londonio and Caldwell. This would also implicate Madonna in the hit because he had a relationship with Londonio that could be proven by a range of evidence according to a Gangland News report.
Madonna and 19 others including underboss Steven Crea were charged back in 2017 with a wide range of racketeering activities including the Meldish murder. Since then this case has had its share of twist and turns and it doesn’t seem like the feds’ case is as strong as they may need it to be. When it comes to Matthew Madonna and the Crea’s the feds may still be able to get a conviction on other racketeering-related charges even if the Meldish murder charge turns out to be a swing and miss.
This article was originally posted here