The Chicago Syndicate: Nicholas Guido
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Showing posts with label Nicholas Guido. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nicholas Guido. Show all posts

Monday, February 02, 2015

#MafiaCops Cost City $5,000,000 Settlement

The City of New York on Friday agreed to pay $5 million to the family of a man killed after being mistaken for a mobster with the same name — thanks to information the killers gleaned from two former police detectives later convicted of moonlighting as hit men for the mob.

The city Law Department called Nicholas Guido’s 1986 death tragic in a statement Friday and says settling is in the city’s best interest.

The family’s lawyer did not immediately return a call from the Associated Press.

The 26-year-old Guido was shot outside his mother’s home on 17th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Christmas Day 1986, according to a New York Daily News report.

Federal prosecutors said the gunmen had Guido had no ties to organized crime, but happened to share a name with an associate of the Gambino crime family who was part of a team of hit men that tried to kill Lucchese family underboss Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso three years earlier.

Casso who paid two detectives – Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa — to help in eight murders, according to the Daily News report. They were accused of carrying out two of those killings themselves.
Eppolito and Caracappa were both sentenced to life in prison.

Thanks to CBS New York.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

John Ambrose, Former U.S. Marshal, Sentenced to Prison

A deputy U.S. marshal who was convicted of leaking secret information about a mob witness was sentenced today to four years in prison — a punishment a judge said is designed to deter others in law enforcement from ever contemplating similar crimes.

The marshal, John Ambrose, sat motionless as U.S. District Court Judge John F. Grady handed down the sentence to a courtroom filled with his family, friends and onetime colleagues.

Ambrose, who was convicted in April, had sought probation. His lawyer said his client lived for his job and his conviction has likely stripped him of any future in law enforcement.

Prosecutors had recommended he spend more than six years in prison.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for Ambrose, a 41-year-old father of four, to spend between 12 and 18 months behind bars, but Grady said that wasn’t nearly enough time. “There is really no mitigating circumstance in this case as far as the evidence is concerned,” Grady said. “What we’re dealing with here is a very serious crime . . . that has virtually no likelihood of detection.”

Ambrose in 2002 and 2003 worked stints in the federal witness protection program guarding mob turncoat Nicholas Calabrese, whose testimony in 2007 helped convict several mobsters in the landmark Family Secrets trial.

Ambrose was convicted of leaking information about Calabrese to a family friend, William Guide, who had done prison time with Ambrose’s late father after their convictions in the “Marquette 10” police corruption trial in 1983. In a twist, Grady was the judge in that case.

Prosecutors have said that Guide, who was never charged with any crimes regarding the younger Ambrose’s case, had known mob ties.

Authorities linked the leaks to Ambrose based on video surveillance of two mobsters talking at a federal prison in Milan, Mich., and overhearing the words “Marquette 10.”

They also say Ambrose’s is the only security violation in the history of witness protection program.

Ambrose’s lawyer, Frank Lipuma, told Grady that his client did have talks with Guide and even “shot his mouth off,” but that “there was never any intent” to harm the program.

After court, Lipuma said he will ask that Ambrose stay out of prison pending appeal. If Grady rejects that, Ambrose is to report to prison Jan. 26.

“I think he relied a little too heavily on the deterrence factor,” Lipuma said of Grady’s sentence. “Mr. Ambrose is not sorry for what he did because what is claimed that he did has been, from day one, overstated.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney T. Markus Funk said prosecutor took no joy in sending a law enforcement officer to prison. “It’s obviously a sad day,” Funk said. “However, we want to emphasize from our perspective the judge’s sentence was fair and just.”

Thanks to Chris Fusco and Natasha Korecki

Monday, March 23, 2009

Talk-Show Host Charlie Rose Survives Botched Mafia Hit Attempt

Bring me the head of Charlie Rose!

No, not the PBS talk-show host. The other one the legendary Mafia-busting prosecutor.

UnfortunatelyFriends of the Family, bumbling mob cops Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa and the Mafia assassin they dispatched to Long Island didn't know the difference and nearly bumped off public television's dapper yapper.

So says "Friends of the Family," a new book about the mob cops by retired detective Tommy Dades and Brooklyn prosecutor Michael Vecchione, who cracked the case.

The authors write that the disgraced NYPD detectives gave bad information to their benefactor, Luchese underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, who dispatched a triggerman to the talk-show host's house, not knowing it wasn't the home of a Brooklyn federal prosecutor he wanted dead.

The killer never saw Rose and left, according to the book.

"It's a surprise it's all new to me," the TV host told The Post.

He confirmed that he's owned a home for years in Bellport, which is near the beach on eastern Long Island, about 20 miles west of Quogue.

Casso told FBI agents the house was in "the Hamptons," according to the book.

Casso was furious with Mafia-busting prosecutor Charles Rose, believing that Rose embarrassed him by leaking a story about Casso having killed his former architect for having an affair with the mobster's wife.

The bloodthirsty Casso did the unthinkable and put out a contract on the former assistant US attorney, who died of a brain tumor in 1998.

"Naturally, the only people Casso trusted to get Rose's address were the cops," the book says. "Casso was captured before he could make his move against Rose, but supposedly he did get an address for the prosecutor in the Hamptons. One of his people waited at the house for the prosecutor to show up, but for whatever reason Rose never got there.

"That was truly fortunate it turned out to be the wrong Charlie Rose . . This was the home of the TV show host, not the prosecutor."

"It's a 'wow' revelation in the book," said Vecchione, who heads the investigation unit of the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. "I mean, Charlie Rose!"

The 1992 incident wasn't the first goof by the corrupt former detectives, whom Casso paid $4,000 a month to help kill rival hoods and supply tips on turncoats and probes.

Caracappa and Eppolito, who were sentenced to life on March 6, were asked to find the address of Nicholas Guido, a conspirator who tried to knock off Casso in a botched hit.

The cops got the wrong information; this time, Casso's henchmen killed an innocent Brooklyn man also named Nicholas Guido.

The book says Casso told FBI agents that Eppolito, Caracappa and an unnamed uniform cop ripped off millions in heroin in a notorious heist of the French Connection evidence from the NYPD property office.

The book "Friends of the Family" comes out May 12.

Thanks to Brad Hamilton

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Pauline Pipitone Breaks Silence On The Senseless Murder Of Her Son During A Botched Mob Hit In 1986

It happened on Christmas Day, 1986. 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.

On Friday they will be sentenced in federal court. But before then, the mother of Guido has broken her silence in an exclusive interview with CBS 2 HD.

"The door was open; the car door. He was just laying there. The blood just coming out the car," Pauline Pipitone said. "I touched his hand. I said, 'No, I want to touch him.' His fingers were cold.

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.

"Nicholas got the whole, um, 10 bullets," Pipitone said.

Guido was killed on the orders of Anthony "Gas Pipe" Casso, then the underboss of the Lucchese crime family.

When asked if there is ever a day that goes by that she doesn't think about her son's death, Pipitone said, "No way. No way." She added that even though 22-plus years have gone by since the killing, "I cry every day and every night."

"I'm his mother. He was my whole life."

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. Pipitone said she wants them to live long lives … behind bars.

"I want them to live a long time and know what I'm going through. That won't give me any peace, but still … I'll still be crying," Pipitone said.

A week after Guido was gunned down the letter came in the mail saying he had been accepted for training with the fire department.

When Eppolito and Caracappa are sentenced Friday, it will be for nine murders they either carried out or arranged for the mob.

Nick Guido was the only innocent man.

Thanks to Pablo Guzman

Friday, April 07, 2006

NYPD Detectives Convicted of Mob Murders

Friends of ours: Lucchese Crime Family, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, John Gotti, Gambino Crime Family, Jimmy Hydell, Nicholas Guido
Friends of mine: Loui Eppolito, Steven Caracappa

Two highly decorated former detectives were convicted Thursday of moonlighting as hitmen for the mob in one of the most sensational cases of police corruption in New York history.

Louis Eppolito, 57, and Steven Caracappa, 64, could get life in prison for their roles in eight murders committed between 1986 and 1990 while they were simultaneously on the payroll of both the NYPD and Luchese crime family underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso.

Federal prosecutor Daniel Wenner described the case as "the bloodiest, most violent betrayal of the badge this city has ever seen." Prosecutors said the two men carried out two hits themselves — in one case after pulling a mobster over in a phony traffic stop — and delivered up some of the other victims to the Mafia to be killed.

The defendants rubbed their faces and stared at the federal jury upon hearing the verdict, reached after two days of deliberations. Eppolito's family wept. The defendants' $5 million bail was revoked and they were led off to jail to await sentencing May 22.

The men's lawyers said they will appeal. "It's an appearance of justice, but it's not justice," said Bruce Cutler, who once represented John Gotti and put on a thundering defense of the two former officers, claiming the government's mob witnesses were lying to save their necks.

Prosecutors said the two used their law enforcement positions to help the Mafia at a price of $4,000 per month — more if they personally handled a killing. They earned $65,000 for the phony traffic stop slaying, prosecutors said. The two officers also supplied Casso with inside information on law enforcement interest in the mob, prosecutors said. Casso was said to have referred to the two men as his "crystal ball."

They were convicted of charges that included racketeering conspiracy, witness tampering, witness retaliation and obstruction of justice.

Caracappa, who retired in 1992, helped establish the city police department's unit for Mafia murder investigations. Eppolito, the son of a Gambino crime family member, was a much-praised street cop, although there were suggestions that some of his arrests resulted from tips from mobsters.

In his autobiography, Mafia Cop, he portrayed himself as an honest cop from a crooked family. Eppolito also played a bit part in the mob movie GoodFellas. After retiring in 1990, he unsuccessfully tried his hand at Hollywood scriptwriting.

The former detectives, who retired to homes on the same block in Las Vegas, insisted on their innocence from the time of their arrests in March 2005. But neither took the stand at their trial.

The key prosecution witness was Burton Kaplan, a drug dealer who spent four days on the stand linking the pair to an assortment of murders. Kaplan testified that he served as middleman between Casso and the detectives.

Casso, known as one of the most brutal mobsters in the city, is suspected of involvement in 36 murders himself. Both sides considered calling him as a witness but ultimately decided Casso came with too much baggage.

According to testimony, the detectives "arrested" a mobster named Jimmy Hydell in 1986, but instead delivered him to Casso for torture and execution.

That same year, the pair furnished the underboss with information on where to find Nicholas Guido, a mobster involved in a planned hit on Casso. Their inaccurate tip led to an innocent man with the same name, who was killed after Christmas dinner at his mother's house.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Mafia Cops" Convicted of Murder

Friends of ours: Lucchese Crime Family, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, Gambino Crime Family, Eddie Lino, Nicholas Guido, Jimmy Hydell
Friends of mine: Louis Eppolito, Steven Caracappa

Two decorated former New York City police detectives were convicted Thursday of murder while on the payroll of a Mafia underboss in one of the most astounding police corruption cases in city history.

The federal jury deliberated for two days in the case against Louis Eppolito and Steven Caracappa, who spent a combined 44 years on the force and once worked as partners.

They face up to life in prison.

Eppolito, 57, and Caracappa, 64, were accused of leading a double life for years: respected city detectives who moonlighted as hired killers for Luchese crime family underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Wenner described the case against the so-called "Mafia cops" as "the bloodiest, most violent betrayal of the badge this city has ever seen."

The defendants showed no visible reaction, while Eppolito's family wept as the verdict was read.

The men were accused in eight murders, with prosecutors charging that the two used their positions as crime fighters to aid the crime family -- at a price of $4,000 a month.

Their salary increased when the detectives personally handled the killing, authorities said; they earned $65,000 for the slaying of a mobster during a phony traffic stop.

Casso also referred to the pair as his "crystal ball," providing inside information on law enforcement interest in the mob world, authorities said. Caracappa, who retired in 1992, helped establish the city police department's office for Mafia murder probes.

Eppolito, the son of a Gambino crime family member, was a much-praised street cop -- although there were suggestions that some of his arrests followed tips provided by mobsters. The contrast between his police work and his "family" life was detailed in his autobiography, "Mafia Cop."

Eppolito also played a bit part in the classic mob movie "GoodFellas." After retiring in 1990, he unsuccessfully tried his hand at Hollywood script writing.

Since their March 2005 arrests, the men have said they are innocent. But neither one took the stand to refute charges in the trial that began March 13.

The key prosecution witness was Burton Kaplan, an acknowledged drug dealer who spent four days on the stand linking the pair to an assortment of murders between 1986 and 1990. Kaplan testified that he served as middleman between Casso and the detectives.

Casso, known as one of the most brutal mobsters in the city, was reportedly involved in 36 murders himself.

Both sides considered calling him as a witness, but ultimately decided Casso came with too much baggage -- even after he wrote a letter from prison insisting the detectives were innocent of several crimes.

The details of the alleged killing spree were chilling. The detectives allegedly "arrested" a mobster named Jimmy Hydell in 1986, but instead delivered him to Casso for torture and execution.

That same year, the pair allegedly furnished the underboss with information to locate Nicholas Guido, a mobster involved in a planned hit on Casso. Their inaccurate tip led to the slaying of an innocent man who was having Christmas dinner at his mother's house.

The detectives also were charged with killing Gambino family member Eddie Lino during what began as a routine traffic stop, and finished with Caracappa allegedly shooting the mobster.

Monday, March 27, 2006

'Mafia Cops' Trial Has Lots of Theatrics

Louie Eppolito had a story to tell. And, more importantly, one to sell.

The decorated ex-New York police detective, who also happened to be the son of a mobster, was living in Las Vegas and trying to peddle doomed screenplays with titles like "Murder In Youngstown." Eppolito was looking for an investor in his latest project and he was unconcerned about the source of the cash.

"If you said to me, `Lou, I wanna introduce you to Jack Smith, he wants to invest in this film,' (and) he says, `$75,000 comes in a (expletive) shoe box,' that's fine with me," Eppolito said during a surreptitiously taped conversation with a federal informant. "I don't care. I've had people give me money before."

It sounds like movie dialogue, maybe something out of "Get Shorty (Two-Disc Special Edition)." No surprise the trial of so-called "Mafia Cops" Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, heading into its third week, has featured plenty of theatrics.

The courtroom histrionics occasionally threaten to overshadow one of the most serious prosecutions in city history: a pair of top-echelon NYPD detectives accused of using their prized gold shields to kill eight people at the behest of a brutal mob underboss, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso.

Prosecutors allege that Eppolito, 57, and Caracappa, 64, were partners in crime from 1979 to last year, when they were arrested in Las Vegas. They remain free on $5 million bail.

The first day of testimony was punctuated with a screaming match between turncoat mobster Alphonse "Little Al" D'Arco and defense attorney Bruce Cutler, who made his reputation defending the late Gambino family boss John Gotti.

"I don't know what the hell you're talking about," snapped the grandfatherly D'Arco, 73, his Brooklyn accent unaltered by 15 years in witness protection. "You're not making any sense to me."

Cutler, his deep voice rising, tried to ask another question: "Wouldn't you agree with me …"

"I wouldn't agree with you on anything!" shouted D'Arco, who was threatened with contempt by U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein. That was before the one-time Luchese boss ripped into Cutler as a loudmouth and a cheapskate. The judge showed little more tolerance for Cutler, cutting off his cross-examination for shouting at D'Arco.

The defendants themselves are a mismatched pair: the portly Eppolito, whose reputation was made as a street cop, comes to court in an ill-fitting sports coat. Caracappa so thin he was known among fellow cops as "The Stick" is fastidious in appearance, right down to his neatly trimmed mustache.

The prosecution has already called its key witness, confessed drug dealer Burton Kaplan, who spent four days testifying about the two detectives' brutal work on behalf of Luchese underboss Casso. Kaplan implicated the pair in a dozen homicides.

Cross-examination of another prosecution witness, crooked accountant Steven Corso, focused on his theft of $5.3 million from an ex-employer to finance a life of what he called "girlfriends, jewelry and going out." It was Corso who recorded the conversations with Eppolito about film financing. The ex-detective, playing up his mob pedigree, sprinkled the conversation with mob names like "Jimmy the Buffalo" and the late crime boss Joe Bonanno.

There was one witness whose testimony tugged on heartstrings while going to the heart of the case: Pauline Pipitone, describing how her youngest son, 26-year-old Nicholas Guido, had come home for Christmas dinner in 1986.

It was Guido's misfortune to share his name with a mobster involved in a botched hit on Casso. When the underboss wanted revenge, prosecutors said, he turned to the two detectives who provided an address for the wrong Nicholas Guido.

The innocent man was showing off his new car when he was shot by mob hit men. Pipitone was inside washing dishes.

"I ran over to the car," she testified. "He was sitting up at the wheel. I went to touch his hand, and he must have just died. His fingertips were cold."

Thanks to Larry McShane

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Murdered man's mother files $150M suit against city, 'Mafia Cops'

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

The mother of a Brooklyn man shot dead on Christmas Day 1986 in a case of the mob mistakenly killing the wrong man is suing the so-called "Mafia Cops" and the city for his murder. Pauline Pipitone, whose son Nicholas Guido, 26, was killed as he sat in a car after a holiday dinner, has charged in her lawsuit filed in Brooklyn federal court that former detectives Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa were part of the mob blunder that led to Guido's death.

Pipitone, who is executor of her son's estate, is suing for $150 million. She alleges that the NYPD failed to aggressively investigate allegations that Eppolito and Caracappa had been linked to criminal activity. Eppolito, 57, and Caracappa, 64, were indicted last year on charges they moonlighted as hit men and intelligence moles for the mob while they were cops. The indictment charged that as many as 10 murders are linked to their activities for former Luchese crime family acting boss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso.

In the case of Guido, federal prosecutors have alleged that Eppolito and Caracappa funneled information to Casso, who was seeking revenge after being targeted in a failed assassination plot. Casso and his cohorts were seeking a reputed Gambino associate named "Nicholas Guido," 29, for being part of the the plot to kill the Luchese leader. Investigators have charged that Eppolito and Caracappa accessed NYPD databases to locate Guido for the mob, but erroneously came across Pipitone's son, a telephone company employee who had no criminal affiliations.

Pipitone's court complaint, which is seeking damages for Guido's wrongful death and deprivation of his constitutional rights, was filed last Thursday and appears to incorporate the allegations contained in the federal charges.

Eppolito and Caracappa, who are currently free under house arrest conditions on $5 million bail, have denied all the charges. They are scheduled to go to trial next month in Brooklyn federal court before Judge Jack B. Weinstein, although defense attorneys are seeking an adjournment.

Last week, federal officials in Las Vegas secured a tax evasion indictment against Eppolito and his wife, Francis. Investigators allege Eppolito didn't report income he made from various book and film deals.

"It was a terrible, terrible crime, but it isn't possible Caracappa could have committed it," said Edward Hayes, the lawyer representing Caracappa, about the Guido murder.

Hayes said the NYPD knew very early on the correct name of the "Guido" allegedly involved in the Casso assassination plot and that presumably that name was in the NYPD databases.

Defense attorney Bruce Cutler, who is defending Eppolito, couldn't be reached for comment Sunday.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Alleged Mafia Cop Speaks Out

Friends of ours: Lucchese Crime Family, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, Eddie Lino, Nicholas Guido
Friends of mine" Stephen Caraccappa, Louis Eppolito, Burton Kaplan

Over the years, 60 Minutes has done its share of stories about police corruption, but none more outrageous than the one you’re about to hear: it's the story of two New York City police officers who stand accused of being hired killers for the mafia. Stephen Caraccappa and Louis Eppolito - two highly decorated former detectives - are set to go on trial next month, charged with the murders of 10 people, murders committed on the orders of a vicious mob boss. For the first time, one of those detectives, Stephen Caracappa, who is free on bail, talks to correspondent Ed Bradley and answers the allegations that he betrayed his badge and became a mafia hitman.

Caracappa says the allegations against him are ridiculous. "It's ludicrous. Anybody that knows me, knows I love the police department. I couldn't kill anybody. I shot a guy once on the job, and I still think about it. It bothers me," he says.

Why does he think police went after him? "I could come up with 100 different scenarios. But none of the scenarios make any sense to me, myself," says Caracappa. "All I know is that I am here now. And, I'm fighting for my life. I'm fighting for my reputation. I want to be vindicated of this. And, I'm mad. I'm angry."

For most of his 23-year career in the New York City Police Department, Stephen Caracappa was widely respected for his tenacity and savvy in cracking complicated cases. He rose from street patrolman to undercover narcotics officer, to first-grade detective, receiving numerous commendations along the way. He helped create the prestigious organized-crime homicide unit. His mission was to investigate the Lucchese crime family but instead, prosecutors say that in 1985 Caracappa and his former partner Louis Eppolito actually joined the family, and began working for its brutal boss, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso.

Speaking to Ed Bradley in a 1998 prison interview, Casso said, "I have two detectives that work the major squad team for the New York Police Department." Asked what their names were, Casso told Bradley, "Lou Eppolito and Steve – he’s got a long last name, Ca... Capis..."

"Caracappa?" Bradley asked.

"Caracappa yeah," Casso replied. "Caracappa, whatever it is. I can’t say it all the time you know. Louis is a big guy who works out. Steve is a little small skinny guy."

Casso remains in the prison, serving a life sentence after admitting to 36 murders. He told Bradley about the extraordinary relationship he had with Detectives Caracappa and Eppolito. He also told his story to federal prosecutors, spelling out how, for a hefty salary, Caracappa and Eppolito would walk right up to Casso’s enemies, trick them into believing they were under arrest, and then deliver them to Casso to be executed.

That’s exactly what Casso told 60 Minutes the detectives did to a young hood named Jimmy Hydell. "They put him in the car. The kid thought they were taking him to the station house. But they took him to a garage. When they got to the garage, they laid him on the floor; they tied his feet, his handcuffs, put him in the trunk of the car," Casso said. "After that, I killed the kid. Myself, at that time I gave Louis and Steve, I think, $45,000 for delivering him to me."

"You gave them a bonus for delivering some one to you, you killed?" Bradley asked.

"Right. Well they wanted to kill for me. I didn’t even have to do it. They were gonna get him, kill him and do whatever I wanted to do with him," Casso replied in the 1998 interview.

"I don’t know Hydell, never met Hydell, says Caracappa. "I never met Anthony Casso. I don't know Anthony Casso."

What about Casso's claim that he had met Caracappa during the alleged delivery of Jimmy Hydell? "Mr. Bradley, I never met - I spoke to Anthony Casso. Never," Caracappa says.

Why would Casso lie? "To save himself, I would assume," says Caracappa. "But, why would he use me? I don't know."

Casso was, in fact, hoping to save himself, and reduce his sentence, when he first told his astonishing account to investigators 12 years ago. But prosecutors say they couldn’t charge Eppolito and Caracappa then because they couldn’t prove Casso's story. But now they have witnesses to many of the murders who corroborate what Casso had to say. Among them is Jimmy Hydell’s mother, who told investigators that the detectives came to her house looking for her son a few hours before he was abducted and killed, and a garage worker who told authorities where to dig up the body of another man Caracappa and Eppolito allegedly buried beneath a lot in Brooklyn.

The most brazen crime former Detectives Eppolito and Caracappa are accused of took place along New York City’s Belt Parkway. Allegedly in broad daylight, the two detectives pulled over a car driven by a mobster named Eddie Lino. They flashed their badges, and according to prosecutors, shot him dead.

"I gave them $75,000. They killed him, like, cowboy style. They pulled alongside of him. They shot him. They made him crash into the fence alongside the Belt Parkway on the service road. Right? Then Steve got out of the car, ran across the street and finished shooting him. Finished killing him in the car," Casso said during the 1998 interview.

It's a claim Caracappa denies. "I was a New York City detective for 23 years. We don't go around killing people. I did not kill Eddie Lino. I'm not a cowboy," he says.

Caracappa agrees that being on the police force doesn't automatically mean someone is a good guy and acknowledges that there have been members of the police force who have killed.

"So, that doesn't, you know, that's not a good answer for me to say, 'I didn't do it because I'm on the job,'" Bradley says.

"No, it's my answer. It's my answer because I have pride in myself, Mr. Bradley," Caracappa replies. "I wouldn't do something like that. Put my life in jeopardy. My family. Disgrace the badge. Disgrace the city. Take everything that I had worked for my whole life and throw it away? And, killed somebody in the street like a cowboy? That's not my style. It's not me."

"If you thought you wouldn't get caught?" Bradley asks.

"Get caught? Everybody gets caught. And, the person who did this is gonna get caught," says Caracappa.

Caracappa says he’s also speaking for his friend and co-defendant Louis Eppolito, who declined 60 Minutes' request for an interview.

"He’s not the monster the newspapers portrayed him to be," says Caracappa. "We’ll put up the evidence to show that we couldn’t have done these crimes. We just couldn’t have done 'em." But prosecutors say Stephen Caracappa left a paper trail - a key piece of evidence – proving he used his position to access police department computers andfunnel confidential information to Anthony Casso about the whereabouts of his enemies. One of them was a mobster named Nicholas Guido.

Investigators say Caracappa ran that name through his computer, mistakenly came up with an address for the wrong Nicholas Guido and a few weeks later, it led Casso to kill an innocent man. "I don’t remember running Nicholas Guido in the computer. But if they have a printout saying I did, I probably did. I ran countless names in the computer," says Caracappa.

So does Caracappa think Guido's murder was just a coincidence? "I don't know if it's a coincidence," he says. "But, if I did anything and I had to run a name, it's down on paper and it's documented why I did it…. And, who I did it for. And, I definitely didn't do it for any wise guy."

Stephen Caracappa’s lawyer, Ed Hayes, argues it would have been implausible for a first-grade detective like Caracappa to make such a rookie mistake. "If he had been looking for the right Nicky Guido, it would have been easy for him to find him," says Hayes. "It’s practically impossible to me to assume that he would have made this mistake. Because he's based his whole career on avoiding that kind of mistake, assuming you're going to kill people for money, you want to kill the right guy. Not the wrong guy. Otherwise you got to kill two people for the price of one, right?"

Maybe he was just sloppy. "Yeah. Maybe he made a mistake. Or maybe he didn't do it," says Hayes. "But in our system, you don't convict somebody on a maybe."

While that may be, prosecutors have also obtained information from a former top associate of Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso named Burton Kaplan, a convicted narcotics trafficker, who claims he personally paid detectives Caracappa and Eppolito when they committed murders for Casso. Ed Hayes says neither Casso nor Kaplan have any credibility.

"You have several individuals that even by criminal standards are revolting. And I think they saw this as an opportunity to make a plan, where they could get special treatment and get out of jail. And in fact, Burt Kaplan, who’s a drug dealer, a super large money launderer, has gotten out of jail because of making these accusations," says Hayes.

Stephen Caracappa says he knows he is being framed. And he says he has a good idea why he was implicated in the first place: his relationship with Louis Eppolito, who came from a family of mobsters, and wrote a book about it, titled "Mafia Cop: The Story of an Honest Cop Whose Family Was The Mob." In the book, Eppolito brags about socializing with mobsters and torturing suspects when he was on the job.

Does Caracappa fear jurors might know of the book and lump him in by guilt of association? "It could be. But if you knew Louie Eppolito and you spoke to Louie Eppolito, and you spent any time with him, you would see he couldn't do that. The guy is gentle," says Caracappa. But there’s a separate case that paints a dark picture of Louis Eppolito, involving Barry Gibbs, who spent 19 years in prison for a murder prosecutors now say he didn’t commit. He was freed four months ago, after a judge ruled that Det. Eppolito, who investigated the crime, intimidated the only eyewitness in the case into falsely testifying against Gibbs.

"He is a corrupt cop, and he is no good, and that’s the end of it," says Gibbs. "He ruined my life. He could have done that to anybody. It just so happens it was me. He could have done it you. He could have done it to anybody sitting here."

That eyewitness who testified against Gibbs was a former Marine, Peter Mitchell. In 1986, Mitchell saw a man dumping a woman’s body along a road in Brooklyn. He gave a description of the suspect to Eppolito, who was on the scene investigating the murder, and while his description bore no resemblance to Barry Gibbs, Mitchell says Eppolito threatened to hurt him and his family, if he refused to pick Gibbs out of a police lineup and point the finger at him in court.

Mitchell admits he knew he was lying on the stand and that his testimony would land Gibbs in jail. "Yeah, but you know what? I don't want this cop after me," says Mitchell.

How could he do that? "How could I do that? My family was on the line here. And I, if I had to do it, I'll do it again," says Mitchell.

Mitchell says that if he hadn't fingered Barry Gibbs he would be dead.

As for Barry Gibbs, he would still be in prison today if prosecutors hadn’t stumbled across his case file last spring during a search of Louis Eppolito’s home. Eppolito has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing in this case, and claims he did nothing improper. The former detective made a brief statement to reporters recently about the 10 murder charges against him.

"I was a very highly decorated cop. I worked very hard my whole life and I just wanted people to know I’m not the person that they’re portraying me," he said.

Asked by a reporter if he was ever a bad cop, Eppolito replied, "Never in my life, never."

The question for the jury in this case, which goes to trial next month, is: did two decorated police officers cross the thin blue line and become hitmen for the mafia?

"You must know that if you get convicted on even one of these murder charges, you'll go down in history as one of the most corrupt cops in the history of the department," says Bradley. "That's true, Mr. Bradley, but I won't be convicted, because I didn't do this," replies Caracappa. "I won't, didn't do it. So I'm not gonna be convicted. I won't have that on my epitaph."

Courtesy of 60 Minutes


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