News Release [printer friendly page]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2006
DEA Public Affairs
Two Former NYPD Detectives Who Secretly Worked as Mafia Associates Convicted of Racketeering
Defendants Found Guilty of Committing Eight Murders, Two Attempted Murders, One
APR 7 -- Following three weeks of trial and two days of deliberations, a federal jury in
John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration stated, "Fortunately, a majority of law enforcement officers are honorable, hardworking civil servants who wear their badge with honor and a sense of civic duty, Eppolito and Caracappa did not. They had hoped that ‘what happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas.’ But it didn’t. What happened in Vegas wound up in a courtroom in New York City and put an end to over 20 years of corruption and criminal activity."
"Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa perverted the shield of good, and turned it into a sword of evil," stated Roslynn R. Mauskopf, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. "The citizens of this City gave them that shield, their power, and expected protection from evil. Instead, the defendants themselves were evil personified. Today, a jury of the very citizens the defendants were sworn to protect has held these two men accountable for their stunning betrayal of the badge, for disgracing the finest police department in the world, and for abusing in the most heinous way imaginable the privilege and power of public service. The good men and women of law enforcement who investigated and prosecuted this case recognize what it means to carry out the privilege and responsibilities given to them by the citizens of this City. Today’s verdict is a credit to their work."
Immediately after the jury’s verdict was announced, U.S. District Judge Jack B.
The evidence at trial established that the defendants began their criminal activity in the early 1980s, while serving as New York City Police Department detectives. As a member of the Major Case Squad of the NYPD, CARACAPPA was uniquely positioned to access information regarding organized crime informants, homicides, and investigations. After retiring from the NYPD in the early 1990s and relocating to Las Vegas, both defendants engaged in drug distribution, and EPPOLITO also engaged in money laundering.
(1) In February 1986, CARACAPPA and EPPOLITO, acting on behalf of Luchese Family associate Burton Kaplan, lured jeweler Israel Greenwald into his car by claiming to need him for a line-up, drove him to a garage in Brooklyn, executed him, and left him to be buried there. His remains were recovered from a makeshift grave as part of this investigation in April 2005.
(2) In September 1986, Luchese Family underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso was shot by several Gambino Family associates. Thereafter, with the assistance of the defendants and others, Casso exacted revenge on four people whom he believed were responsible for his attempted murder in 1986. Specifically:
In October of 1986, EPPOLITO and CARACAPPA kidnapped James Hydell, a
From 1987 to January 1993, Casso paid EPPOLITO and CARACAPPA $4,000 a month for highly confidential law enforcement information.
In November of 1990, the defendants accepted a $75,000 contract from Casso to murder Edward "Eddie" Lino, a captain in the Gambino Crime Family who was also believed to be associated with the crew that had participated in the attempt on Casso’s life. On November 6, 1990, EPPOLITO and CARACAPPA followed Lino from his social club, pulled him over as he drove down the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, and shot Lino dead.
(3) The defendants compromised investigations by providing Casso with law enforcement information about suspected government witnesses and cooperators, leading to the murder of three victims and the attempted murder of another: In 1987, the defendants obstructed the government’s investigation into "The Bypass Gang," a notorious safe-cracking burglary crew, revealing the identities of two suspected cooperators, John "Otto" Heidel and Dominic Costa. On Casso’s orders, Heidel was murdered, and Costa was repeatedly shot, but survived. The defendants disclosed to Casso and others the existence of a federal indictment returned by an Eastern District of New York grand jury involving mob control of the window replacement industry in New York City. As a result, Casso and Vittorio Amuso, another high-ranking Luchese soldier, evaded capture for nearly two years. The defendants disclosed to Casso confidential law enforcement information regarding Luchese Family soldier, Bruno Facciola. In August 1990, Facciola was murdered.
(4) The defendants helped Casso in his struggle to gain and maintain control over the Luchese Family:
After becoming underboss of the Luchese Family, Casso summoned various soldiers and associates to meet with him. Anthony Dilapi, a Luchese Family soldier, refused to meet him. The defendants provided Casso with information helping to locate Dilapi, and on February 4, 1990, Dilapi was murdered.
(5) Both defendants distributed methamphetamine, and EPPOLITO invested drug proceeds in the purchase of a house and accepted purported drug proceeds from Burt Kaplan, a Luchese Family associate.
SAC Gilbride commended the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York for their diligence and tenacity on this investigation. And United States Attorney Mauskopf expressed her grateful appreciation to the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office for their outstanding and crucial assistance in this case.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert W. Henoch, Mitra Hormozi, and Daniel Wenner, under the supervision of Assistant United States Attorney Mark Feldman, Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force.