Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, the NYPD cops who were convicted for eight murders on behalf of Luchese crime family underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, were each sentenced this afternoon in a federal Brookly, NY courtroom to life-plus in prison:
Eppolito, the son of a mobster, was sentenced to life plus 100 years. Partner Caracappa received life plus 80 years. Each was fined more than $4 million. Although the pair remained jailed in the years since they were convicted of betraying their badges, their case was tied up in appeals that delayed their sentencing. Caracappa, 67, and Eppolito, 60, committed the killings between 1986-90.
The two maintained their innocence at the sentencing hearing:
"I am innocent of these charges," Caracappa insisted. Eppolito, speaking before his sentencing, made the same claim. "I'm a big boy, I'm not a child," he said. "The federal government can take my life. But they can't take my soul, they can't take my dignity. I never hurt anybody. ... I never did any of this."
Casso, currently in jail and suspected of 36 murders, paid "the rogue cops a $4,000-a-month retainer while they worked for him," and "the crooked pair earned as much as $65,000 for one of their hits":
The defendants committed the killings while simultaneously on the payrolls of the NYPD and the Luchese crime family. Caracappa, who retired in 1992 after 23 years with the NYPD, helped establish the department's clearing house for Mafia murder probes. Eppolito grew up in a mob family: His father, grandfather and an uncle were members of the Gambino family.
Eppolito's father Ralph "was a Gambino family soldier known in the underworld as Fat the Gangster," and his "uncle James was a Gambino captain who went by Jimmy the Clam." In 2006, before the trial, Caracappa spoke with CBS correspondent Ed Bradley.
At least three killings in the government's case involved rival mob members or suspected informers, prosecutors said. In 1986, after an attempt on Casso's life, the detectives kidnapped James Hydell, a member of the Gambino crime family, and brought him to Casso in a car trunk, prosecutors said. Casso, who ranked No. 2 in the Lucchese family, forced Hydell to identify the conspirators in the plot and then murdered him, prosecutors said at the trial. In 1990, Eppolito and Caracappa revealed that James Bishop, an official with Painters Union Local 37, might be helping the Manhattan district attorney with a corruption probe, witnesses testified. He was murdered. In 1992, the two detectives pulled over Edward Lino's car on a Brooklyn highway and shot the Gambino crime family captain to death, a job which earned them a $65,000 bonus, prosecutors said.
A mafia hit man shot and killed Nick Guido on a Brooklyn street. Except it was the wrong man. The address was supplied by two detectives on the mob payroll -- Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa. * * * Guido was showing his uncle his new car. The 26-year-old was a telephone installer, waiting to hear from the FDNY if he'd been accepted. When the killer walked up, Guido shoved his uncle down, and covered him with his own body. * * * Guido . . . was killed on the orders of Anthony "Gas Pipe" Casso, then the underboss of the Lucchese crime family. * * * The killer was looking for another Nick Guido, but the mafia got the innocent man's address, the feds said, from two crooked New York City detectives at the time – Eppolito and Caracappa.