Inside the wild attempted jail escape of Luchese mobster Christopher Londonio

“The Shawshank Redemption” has nothing on this tubby Luchese mobster.

Christopher Londonio’s 2017 plan to escape the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn called for enlisting a wide array of characters, including his mother, his father, his estranged wife, a bookie from The Bronx, and a priest, based on a just-unsealed FBI report.

It needed bedsheets, braided dental floss, a hacksaw blade, a safe house in Brooklyn, and a hideout in Monticello.

And then there was the toughest goal of all: a crash diet-exercise regimen to ensure that the 350-pound mobster could squeeze through the prison’s window.

According to the November 2017 FBI report, the wiseguy allegedly figured he had “nothing to lose” by trying to escape from the MDC because at the time he was facing the death penalty for the 2013 murder of gangster Michael Meldish.

Londonio confided in another inmate, bank robber David Evangelista, after learning he also faced heavy time for a previous escape attempt.

He told Evangelista that he had used a razor to “cut the caulking around” an MDC window, had used “braided dental floss” to begin “perforating the glass.” He also showed Evangelista a box “filled with bed sheets” that he had been storing under his bed to lower himself down to the street from his eighth floor cell.

Christopher Londonio being arrested in 2005.
Christopher Londonio being arrested in 2005.G.N. Miller

Londonio said that he had asked the prison chaplain to allow his local priest to visit him.

The priest’s mission was to smuggle “a diamond-tipped hacksaw blade” into the MDC that Londonio could use “to cut through the steel window guards” of his cell.

The report also detailed Londonio’s diet efforts.

“A central element of Londonio’s plan involved losing enough weight to insure he fit through the opened window,” wrote agents Theodore Otto and Christopher Munger.

“Toward that end, Londonio began eating lots of bran, and had been exercising feverishly — running up and down the stairs separating the tiers in his unit and doing chin-ups — as of the last time Evangelista saw him.”

Londonio had “considered” trying to “make his way to the roof” through an air duct but canned that idea when “he quickly realized he wouldn’t be able to fit into the duct.”

According to the report, Londonio told Evangelista that his mother, father and estranged wife were all part of the intricate, detailed plan that he had worked out with a Bloods gangster from Newburgh who had been convicted of murder and was facing a life sentence.

“A close friend,” whom Londonio described “as a big bookmaker from the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx,” the agents wrote, “was going to provide $150,000 to sustain them while on the lam” in a home that “the Londonio family owned in Monticello” that was “not traceable to his family.”

Metropolitan Detention Center.
Metropolitan Detention CenterPaul Martinka

His mother had smuggled in the dental floss that Londonio would use to cut through the window after using a homemade tool to punch two holes into the sides. He planned to use a second tool “fashioned out of an electrical clamp” to “snake” the dental floss “through the two holes in the sides of the window,” the agents wrote.

“The floss would then be pulled back and forth, creating a sawing effect on the glass,” which would enable Londonio, his Bloods partner and Evangelista to begin their escape out of the MDC and down into a parking lot below in the middle of the night, when security was lax at the facility in Sunset Park, the agents wrote.

Londonio’s wife and his father confirmed the lax security. Following one prison visit, his wife danced around in the MDC parking lot “for a while but was never observed or escorted out,” leading Londonio “to believe that there was no security camera coverage inside the lot,” the agents wrote.

“His father had been observing the perimeter of the facility at night after hours and told him that the exterior guard booths were unmanned late at night.”

After Londonio, Evangelista and the unnamed Bloods member tied the bedsheets together and used them as ropes to get down to the parking lot, they would “be met by Londonio’s father in the vicinity of the jail, given guns and brought to the home of his father’s friend in the vicinity of the MDC,” the agents wrote.

“Londonio was also going to dye their shirts using Kool-Aid to avoid looking overly suspicious while en route to their safe house in Brooklyn.”

Mathew Madonna
Mathew Madonna, a co-conspirator of Christopher Londonio.

Their initial plan called for them to “wait there for several days while news accounts of their escape died down” before heading to Monticello.

They planned to remain there for a year, “while Londonio’s father obtained false documentation for them and Londonio was able to have his appearance changed through cosmetic surgery,” the agents wrote.

But Londonio changed the plan when the wife of one his alleged co-conspirators, Matthew (Matty) Madonna, showed “disrespect” toward him and his parents during a court appearance.

“Madonna didn’t acknowledge Londonio’s parents and Madonna’s wife shook hands with several FBI agents in the courtroom, while ignoring his parents.”

“Londonio’s revised plan involved stopping in the Bronx,” the agents wrote, “to kill both Madonna’s wife and his unidentified partner in a loansharking business” who had stolen $200,000 from him. Londonio told Evangelista, they wrote, that “his designs on Mrs. Madonna were a result of the disrespect Madonna had shown him and his family, particularly after, ‘all [he] had done for [Madonna.]’ ”

The escape plan all fell apart when Evangelista, who has a history of mental health issues, feared he would be arrested as a “co-conspirator.” Evangelista blabbed about the would be jail break to the prison’s Psychological Service Unit on August 1, 2017.

Last week, Londonio’s lawyer John Meringolo told jurors that “the government created a crime of attempted escape” against his client and argued that his cross examination of Evangelista would convince them of Londonio’s innocence.

Evangelista, 44, is slated to testify next month at the racketeering and murder trial of Londonio, and co-defendents Madonna, Steve “Stevie Wonder” Crea and Terrence Caldwell in White Plains Federal Court.

This is an edited version of an article by Jerry Capeci that first appeared on

Steve “Stevie Wonder” Crea (right) and Terrence Caldwell (left)
Steve “Stevie Wonder” Crea (right) and Terrence Caldwell (left) will be co-defendants alongside Londonio in a murder and racketeering trial next month.

This article was originally posted here