Police arrest two in connection with 2013 mob hit

Police arrest two in connection with 2013 mob hit
Photo courtesy of the New York State Department of Corrections

Two men have been arrested and charged in connection to a brazen 2013 mob hit that rocked a quiet, tight-knit Country Club street.

On Tuesday, May 5, police arrested Terrence Caldwell, 57, of 129 W. 147th Street for the execution-style shooting of Michael Meldish, 62, an infamous Bronx hit man allegedly responsible for more than a dozen contract killings.

Caldwell was arrested on murder, manslaughter, and criminal possession of a weapon charges and has over 20 prior arrests dating back to 1973.

According to a NYPD spokesperson, Christopher Londonio, 41, of 753 Revere Avenue was also arrested in connection with the hit on Monday, May 11 and is charged with murder and manslaughter.

The NYPD added Londonio and Caldwell have had a long standing relationship.

On Friday, November 15, 2013 at 10:30 p.m., police discovered Meldish shot execution style inside his Lincoln LS sedan parked in an Ellsworth Avenue crosswalk.

Meldish, who had 18 prior arrests dating back to 1971, appeared to have pulled up to the crosswalk and was exiting his vehicle when the hit occurred.

It was believed the assassin had either ambushed Meldish at this location or perhaps was his passenger.

Further investigation determined Meldish was shot in the right side of his head from a short distance due to the lack of gun powder residue.

It was previously reported that neither a bullet nor shell casing were recovered at the scene.

“I’m thrilled to hear law enforcement is helping to finally close this case and it just goes to show that they won’t stop until they catch those responsible for committing such heinous crimes,” Bob Beider, 45th Precinct Community Council president expressed.

Both Meldish and his younger brother, Joseph were leaders of the notorious ‘Purple Gang’ which conducted their heroin drug trade in the Bronx and Harlem during the 1970s and 1980s in addition to performing contract killings for the Bonanno, Lucchese, and Genovese crime families.

The gang’s namesake was an alleged homage to a Prohibition-era Detroit gang with the same name and this more recent incarnation became well-known for often dismembering their rivals.

It was believed the Purple Gang had alleged ties to Latin American terrorists who they traded firearms to in exchange for narcotics.

By the late 1980s, the gang faded into obscurity when its members were apprehended in drug busts and the few remaining remnants joined the 116th Street Crew.

Joseph Meldish, 60, is currently serving a 25-year to life sentence at Shawangunk Correctional Facility after being arrested and charged with murder in the 2nd degree for the 1999 mistaken identity execution of Joe Brown inside Frenchy’s Bar, formerly located in Throggs Neck.

Meldish’s girlfriend, Kimberly Hanzlik, 50, is serving 20-years to life at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women and charged with murder in the 2nd degree for her involvement in the 1999 Brown execution.

Back then, Hanzlik entered Frenchy’s searching for Brown’s brother Thomas who owed Meldish money, but mistook Brown for him.

Concealing his identity behind a ski mask, Meldish approached a back table where Brown was sitting and executed him.

The couple was arrested in 2007 and convicted of this crime in 2011.

According to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Meldish will be eligible for parole on September 22, 2032 and Hanzlik will become eligible on February 14, 2031.