“Mafia Cops” Louis Eppolito and Steven Caracappa, convicted in April 2006 of committing eight murders while on the payroll of a mob underboss, received life sentences Friday in Brooklyn federal court.
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 elder detective stood to declare he had nothing to do with the slayings.
“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 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.”
Federal Judge Jack Weinstein – who overturned their convictions on a technicality, but was reversed by an appeals court – handed down the lengthy terms.
Weinstein, after their convictions, said the pair had committed “the most heinous series of crimes ever tried in this courthouse.”
He threw out their convictions in June 2006, citing the statute of limitations in the racketeering case. Prosecutors appealed, and the convictions were restored last September.
The crooked pair earned as much as $65,000 for one of their hits on behalf of brutal mob boss Anthony (Gaspipe) Casso. The jailed Mafiosi, suspected of 36 murders, paid the rogue cops a $4,000-a-month retainer while they worked for him.
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
Eppolito grew up in a mob family: His father, grandfather and an uncle were members of the Gambino family. The dichotomy between his career and his upbringing was covered in his autobiography, “Mafia Cop: The Story of An Honest Cop Whose Family Was the Mob.”
Eppolito, who retired in 1990, had a bit part in the classic mob movie “Goodfellas” – and later fancied himself a Hollywood script writer.