Lucchese mobster didn’t plot prison break — just had lots of sheets: lawyer

New York Post 1 month ago

Stockpiling bed sheets isn’t a crime, the lawyer for a Lucchese associate accused of plotting to escape a Brooklyn lock-up using a linen ladder told jurors Tuesday.

“People have sheets,” attorney John Meringolo said of the 17 bed sheets found wadded under Christopher Londonio’s bunk in his eighth-floor cell of the Metropolitan Detention Center in 2017. “I submit to you, bed sheets in his room, that’s not gonna cut it.”

The remarks came as Meringolo tried to convince jurors to acquit his client following a four-week racketeering conspiracy trial alongside associates Terrence Caldwell, Steve Crea and acting Lucchese street boss Matthew Madonna.

Jailhouse snitch David Evangelista testified that Londonio’s elaborate plan involved cutting through the window with braided dental floss, severing bars with a hacksaw smuggled in by a priest, and a crash diet in which he binged on bran.

Once the 350 pound wiseguy could fit out the window, he allegedly intended to climb down the knotted sheets to the parking lot below.

“Where’s the hacksaw, where’s the dental floss, where’s the priest?” Meringolo asked Tuesday, before decrying the idea that his client dropped pounds to fit out a window.

“It’s okay to lose weight, you’re allowed to lose weight,” Meringolo bellowed.

Londonio did end up losing some 200 pounds, but only after his plot was discovered and he was thrown in solitary confinement, Meringolo previously told The Post.

The mobster lost so much weight a former associate who took the stand against him, Joseph Foti, couldn’t point him out among the people at the defense table.

Foti testified that Londonio admitted to his involvement in the 2013 slaying of rival Purple Gang leader Michael Meldish, who was shot while sitting in his car in the Bronx.

Prosecutors say Madonna ordered the hit after Meldish failed to repay a $100,000 gambling loan.

The jury is expected to get the case Wednesday.


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