One of the city’s most dangerous criminals was found dead in his car late Friday night in the borough he and his brother terrorized for years, police sources said.
Mobster Michael Meldish was found in his Lincoln LS on Ellsworth Avenue in the Bronx at 10:30 p.m. with a gunshot wound to the head, police said
Meldish, 62, controlled the 1980s drug trade in the Bronx and Harlem, and ran the Purple Gang, doing business with the Luchese and Genovese families.
“He was one of the most feared people in the city,” a law enforcement source told The Post.
Meldish’s older brother Joe is believed to be responsible for up to 40 murders in the Bronx over the years, and Michael Meldish has a lengthy rap sheet that includes charges for assault, smuggling and firearms possession, according to police.
“We always suspected him and his brother of numerous homicides; We could never pin it on him,” another source said. “They were known mob associates.”
Considered violent and dangerous, the Meldish brothers’ criminal activities spread fear throughout the Bronx for years, sources said.
Joe Meldish is currently serving 12 years behind bars for a 1999 mob hit in Throggs Neck that went horribly wrong.
Back then, Joe Meldish got into a beef with drug dealer Tommy Brown, who refused to lend Meldish a measly $20 for a deal. Meldish responded by burglarizing Brown’s home.
Brown went to the cops, but backed off before pressing charges.
An infuriated Joe Meldish went after Brown, tracking him to Frenchy’s Tavern in Throggs Neck.
He asked a crack-addled prostitute to go inside the pub and identify Tommy Brown. She did — and Meldish marched in and shot him eight times.
Only, Meldish got the wrong man, prosecutors said, killing Brown’s brother Joey by mistake.
Joe Meldish’s 2011 conviction was just his second for killing. His first came at age 18 in 1976, when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Michael Meldish’s violent death will keep investigators busy.
“There’s a very long list of suspects,” a law enforcement source said. “But wouldn’t it be ironic if it was just a robbery?”