Crea Jr will plead guilty next week to three charges including racketeering conspiracy but not the murder of former Purple Gang leader Michael Meldish. He is going to be facing a maximum of 13 years behind bars according to the Gangland News report. He has been out on bail for about a year and will likely get credit for the 14 months he spent in jail before he was released. From prior ruling and statements by Judge Cathy Seibel who is also a former mafia prosecutor, it seems likely that Crea receives the full 13-year sentence. If so the 47-year-old would be out of prison in 2028 still only in his mid-50s.
The younger Crea has maintained his innocence in the Meldish murder from the start. Judge Seibel let him loose on $1 Million dollars bail after one of the feds key witnesses Frank Pasqua III gave what the just called a totally wrong account of the hit. Then a lie detector given by a recognized polygraph expert cleared him of any role in the murder. In fact, Crea is so emphatic that he had nothing to do with it he passed up a 10-year plea deal that would have called for him to admit his role in the slaying. And avoiding pleading guilty to the murder may have been a ploy to help protect his father in the upcoming trial.
Crea Jr along with his dad the Cosa Nostra families underboss and former acting boss Matthew Madonna were charged with murder with not only the Meldish but with being part of a long-running racketeering conspiracy. According to prosecutors, they have amassed a stunning amount of evidence against the mobsters that includes over a dozen cooperating witness and hundreds of hours of tape-recorded conversations. They believe this evidence easily ties the defendants to years of Lucchese family crimes that they will have no trouble winning convictions in court.
The plea deal seems to assure the younger Crea of the light side of what could be a much harsher sentence. Even though the evidence seems slim tying him to the Meldish murder there was still a chance a jury could find him guilty of it and send him to prison for life. And even if he skated on the murder charge the odds that he would still be convicted of racketeering seems strong which would have carried with it a 20-year sentence. The upcoming New York Mafia trial will be one of the biggest of the year.