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No Bail for NY Cops Charged With Mafia Hits

Two former New York detectives who were charged yesterday with carrying out Mafia hits years ago have been denied bond at a detention hearing in Las Vegas, where they currently reside. Both are related to former members of the Lucchese

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leavitt said Louis Eppolito and his former partner, Stephen Caracappa, would pose a serious threat if granted bail. The pair, who were arrested Wednesday night at a Las Vegas restaurant, will be transferred to New York; their arraignments have yet to be scheduled.

Eppolito and Caracappa are each charged with eight murders, two attempted murders, murder conspiracy, obstruction of justice, drug distribution and money laundering, and could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

Defense lawyers said the men were highly respected officers. They retired and moved to Las Vegas more than ten years ago and now live across the street from each other.

Caracappa's lawyer David Chesnoff read several letters from former New York Police Department colleagues who urged the judge to grant Caracappa's release. "It seems incredible to me that those people who placed (Caracappa) in a position of trust for all those years are now relying on the words of informants," Chesnoff said.

Epplolito never denied his blood ties to alleged organized crime figures:

Eppolito, the grandson, son and nephew of Mafia members, was known in the 1970s and '80s for his suspected ties to the mob and his rough-and-tumble takedowns of street thugs. His 1992 autobiography, "Mafia Cop: The Story of an Honest Cop Whose Family Was the Mob," described his family background, decorated career and what he described as false charges of Mafia involvement.

Caracappa, who helped found the NYPD's Organized Crime Homicide Unit, was the gatekeeper for information about Mafia killings investigated by the department's Major Case Squad.

TChris noted yesterday that Eppolito played "Fat Andy" in "Goodfellas."

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  • Re: No Bail for NY Cops Charged With Mafia Hits (none / 0) (#1)
    by cp on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 07:02:09 AM EST
    hmmmm, don't the police and prosecutors rely on informants all the time? that said, we must assume innocence until proven guilty at trial. i was always under the impression that bail was a function of the severity of the crime, and the odds of the accused actually showing up in court. of course, this may stem from my having watched wayyyyyyyyyyy too many episodes of "law & order"! lol

    Re: No Bail for NY Cops Charged With Mafia Hits (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 08:11:18 AM EST
    Patrick, you want to comment on this matter from the pov of the thin blue line? I am interested in your take on it.

    Re: No Bail for NY Cops Charged With Mafia Hits (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimcee on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 06:35:48 PM EST
    Corrupt cops? Who'd a thunk it.

    Re: No Bail for NY Cops Charged With Mafia Hits (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 13, 2005 at 12:40:16 AM EST
    send both to iraq.

    Re: No Bail for NY Cops Charged With Mafia Hits (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 13, 2005 at 10:07:49 AM EST
    Let's see, alleged killer cops retire to Las Vegas. Anybody think maybe they are still on the job? Or maybe they chose Las Vegas for the cheap bar drinks? Track their travel from Vegas to anywhere and correlate with mafia enforcement issues and see what comes up.

    Re: No Bail for NY Cops Charged With Mafia Hits (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 13, 2005 at 01:19:54 PM EST
    I amazed at the immediate assumption that these guys are stone cold guilty while the likes of Scott Peterson and Brian Nichols are granted the assumption of innocence until proven guilty.

    Re: No Bail for NY Cops Charged With Mafia Hits (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 13, 2005 at 04:20:03 PM EST
    found guilty, paul. Not proven.