Saturday, March 07, 2009

Mafia Cops, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, to "Rot!" in Prision for Life

The murderous "Mafia Cops," sentenced to die behind bars for eight mob-ordered executions, received a venomous sendoff Friday from the son of one victim: "Rot!"

A packed Brooklyn federal courtroom erupted in cheers as Vincent Lino unloaded on Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa - the corrupt detective duo convicted of selling their badges to the Luchese crime family.

"These two lowlifes shot and killed my father," roared an angry Lino, whose mobbed-up dad, Edward, was killed for $65,000 in 1990. "May youse have a long life in prison," he said in a thick Brooklyn accent.

The portly Eppolito and his gaunt ex-partner sat quietly at the defense table for the final installment of their sordid career as cops-turned-contract-killers.

They earned $4,000 a month on the payroll of Luchese underboss Anthony (Gaspipe) Casso from 1986 to 1990 to orchestrate murders and pass along confidential police information, prosecutors said.

The daughter of victim Israel Greenwald, a jeweler kidnapped and killed by the pair, addressed her father as she stood before his murderers. "This evil crime robbed us of a lifetime of memories of you," said an emotional Yael Perlman, her eyes closed tight. "Daddy, I can't even bring myself to imagine the anguish you felt."

Eppolito - sporting a sprawling white mustache - turned red as Perlman spoke, while a scowling, unshaven Caracappa betrayed no reaction.

Louis Eppolitio and Stephen Caracappa - 'The Mafia Cops'

Eppolito, the son of a mobster, was sentenced to life plus 100 years; Caracappa received life plus 80 years. Each was fined more than $4 million.

Both declared their innocence despite a Brooklyn jury's resounding April 2006 verdict that established the pair as the most corrupt cops in NYPD history.

"I am innocent of all these charges," said the 67-year-old Caracappa. "And you'll never take away my will to prove how innocent I am."

Eppolito, 60, apologized to the families of the dead, but denied any role in killing them.

"The federal government can take my life," Eppolito said. "I'm a man. They can't take my soul. They can't take my pride. They can't take my dignity.

"I was a hardworking cop. I never hurt anybody. I never kidnapped anybody. ... I never did any of this."

Although the duo was jailed after their convictions, the sentencing was delayed. Brooklyn Federal Judge Jack Weinstein overturned the convictions on a technicality in 2006, but was reversed by an appeals court last September.

Weinstein handed down the lengthy terms after prosecutor Mitra Hormozi said the pair's "heinous offense" merited the life sentences.

Thanks to John Marzulli

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