Wednesday, December 28, 2005

"Mafia" Cop Had a Mole

Friends of ours: Lucchese Crime Family, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso
Friends of mine: Louis Eppolito, Stephen Caracappa

Just months before being exposed as an alleged Mafia hit man, one of the accused mob cops bragged about a high-ranking NYPD member slipping him unauthorized identification under the table, feds say. Disgraced ex-Detective Louis Eppolito was caught on a wiretap earlier this year describing how he was given credentials that state he is an active New York cop, despite living in Las Vegas and having retired more than a decade ago, according to a letter filed by prosecutors last week. Eppolito, 57, claimed he was given the card by a prominent city cop, whom the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's Office did not identify.

Eppolito - who is accused of "routinely divulging sensitive law-enforcement information in exchange for money" - also boasted about how easily he could still access driver-registration records, thanks to his lasting ties with local cops. The comments were made public by the feds in a court document asking that the identities of jurors deciding Eppolito's fate be kept secret.

Eppolito and his alleged partner in crime, former Detective Stephen Caracappa, 63, are charged with handing over names of cooperating witnesses to the Luchese crime family - intelligence that was used to commit nine rubouts between 1986 and 1991. Caracappa is believed to have been the triggerman in one of the slayings.

Prosecutors say the two were on $4,000 retainer to jailed Luchese underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso. "The defendants have demonstrated . . . a propensity to obstruct the fair working of the criminal justice system," prosecutor Robert Henoch wrote in his letter to Brooklyn federal court Judge Jack Weinstein.

"The history of selling information and using murder to obstruct criminal investigations is strong evidence for the need of an anonymous jury." If the judge decides their identities should not be revealed, the jurors would be escorted to and from the courthouse by federal marshals throughout the trial. "There's really no reason to have [an anonymous jury]," said Caracappa's lawyer, Ed Hayes, adding that he may try to block the government's request.

The trial is expected to get under way in February.

Thanks to Zach Haberman

No comments:

Post a Comment