Earlier Monday, after a two-week trial, a jury convicted JOSEPH YOUNG of the March 29, 2005 murder of Robert McKelvey, racketeering, and numerous other crimes of violence.
The convictions were announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Mark J. Mershon, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Division.
As established at trial, JOSEPH YOUNG was an associate of the Bonanno Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra, and was assigned to a Staten Island-based crew led by Bonanno soldier, Gino Galestro. Galestro ordered the murder of another associate in the crew, Robert McKelvey, in order to punish McKelvey for openly boasting of the crew’s criminal activities, and YOUNG agreed to do the murder in exchange for $10,000. On March 29, 2005, another associate of the crew lured McKelvey to a meeting at the historic Kreischer mansion in Staten Island, where YOUNG lived and worked as the mansion’s caretaker. When McKelvey entered the foyer of the mansion, YOUNG stabbed him. McKelvey escaped through the front door, and was tackled by YOUNG, who dragged McKelvey to a decorative garden pool in front of the mansion and drowned him. Following the murder, YOUNG and three associates of the crew disposed of McKelvey’s body by dismembering it with hacksaws, burning the pieces in the mansion’s furnace, and discarding the remaining ashes and bone fragments in the mansion’s septic tank system. Pursuant to searches of the septic tank and wooded area around the mansion, the FBI and personnel from the Medical Examiner’s Office of the City of New York recovered bone fragments and personal effects of McKelvey, and a spot of McKelvey’s blood was recovered from the stairs leading to the mansion’s basement.
In addition to the McKelvey murder, the jury convicted YOUNG of the following additional crimes of violence:
• the summer 2005 attempted arson of a vehicle whose owner had crossed Galestro;
• the September 2005 gunpoint robbery of the Pine Tree Holistic Center, an illegal massage parlor in Springfield, New Jersey, where YOUNG’s girlfriend worked at the time;
• the October 20, 2005 gunpoint extortion of an individual who owed tribute money to Galestro’s crew;
• the January 27, 2006 arson of a home in Staten Island while the residents were asleep inside, one of whom suffered a near-fatal heart attack while attempting to fight the fire;
• the autumn 2005 conspiracy to rob a pizza parlor in Coram, New York, by gunpoint;
• the May 12, 2005 assault in aid of racketeering of a mechanic who was a business rival of other mechanics connected to the crew; YOUNG and another member of the crew assaulted the mechanic at his place of business using a police-issue baton and a crowbar, resulting in a broken knee cap and other serious injuries; and
• the July 1, 2005 gunpoint carjacking of a BMW at the Menlo Mall in Woodbridge, New Jersey.
In addition, YOUNG was convicted of purchasing two firearms through false statements, and then obliterating the guns’ serial numbers and illegally transporting them from Pennsylvania to New York.
Galestro previously pled guilty to racketeering charges that included the McKelvey murder.
“We are gratified with the jury’s thoughtful and considered verdict in this case. The mafia continues to commit unspeakable acts of violence in our community, and we will not rest until we bring the criminals who commit those acts, including murder, to justice,” said United States Attorney Campbell.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Mershon stated, “Once again the popular misconception of a more genteel and nonviolent mob is put to lie. Today’s La Cosa Nostra families may devise some schemes that are more sophisticated than their ancestors’. But they still commit murder and mayhem.”
YOUNG faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment when sentenced Allyne R. Ross, United States District Judge, on January 27, 2009.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Winston Y. Chan, Jack Dennehy, and William Schaeffer.
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