BY JOHN MARZULLI
Monday, May 4th 2009, 4:00 AM
Mafia cops Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa were partners as detectives, partners in crime, neighbors in Las Vegas – and cellmates after being convicted as mob hit men.
Now, their illicit partnership has been broken up forever.
Caracappa, 67, who requested a prison on the East Coast, has been shipped out to Victorville Penitentiary in California to serve his life-plus-80-year sentence.
The high-security prison 86 miles northeast of Los Angeles was once home to notorious inmates John Walker Lindh – the so-called American Taliban – and Ingmar Guandique, suspected of killing Capitol Hill intern Chandra Levy.
Two prisoners have been slain there since it opened in 2004, and a bomb exploded in the prison in February.
“It’s not a good place to be, but it’s better than where he was,” said Caracappa’s lawyer Daniel Nobel.
Sources said the laconic Caracappa was miserable having to spend every waking moment with a loudmouth like Eppolito in the Brooklyn federal lockup in Sunset Park.
Because they’re ex-cops, they were locked down 23 hours a day as a safety precaution and kept away from other inmates.
“If you have two persons together in a small cell that is the size of a closet for some New Yorkers, most marriages would dissolve under those circumstances,” Nobel said of their time at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Eppolito, 60, is still awaiting word from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons as to which cinder-block tomb he will be sent to die.
“It was very peculiar to me that they were housed together,” said Eppolito’s lawyer Joseph Bondy. “The alternative was solitary confinement.”
Eppolito and Caracappa are appealing their convictions, arguing that their trial lawyers were incompetent.
In a letter to Judge Jack Weinstein, Eppolito’s daughter Andrea wrote, “The rest of my life will be dedicated to bringing him home where he belongs.”