Cast of Characters Developing in New Mob Case

The new mob case, involving two former police detectives charged with conducting multiple hits for the mob, is shaping up to have the stuff of a real prime-time drama. Prime-time players are their celebrity lawyers, Ed Hayes and Bruce Cutler.

For the Defense: In addition to being top lawyers, Hayes and Cutler are good friends and down-to-earth street fighters.

  • Ed Hayes: Represents Stephen Caracappa. Lawyer turned book agent (brought out Bill Bratton book) and Court TV anchor (shared Friday "Closing Arguments" hosting with Rikki Klieman), was executor of Andy Warhol estate; played himself in the movie "Goodfellas", a celebrity criminal and media lawyer who represents Robert DeNiro, and was the inspiration for a defense lawyer in the Tom Wolfe novel, "Bonfire of Vanities."
  • Bruce Cutler: Represents Louis Eppolito. Former lawyer for John Gotti, and numerous others. Epitome of the word "mouthpiece." Profile here.

Key Snitch: Burton Kaplan, A 71 year old former heroin smuggler and garmental, doing a federal sentence that will keep him in prison for life. Think, Hyman Roth in Godfather II. He was stand-up, until he got to prison.

But several months ago, the officials said, Mr. Kaplan's resolve weakened. In an effort to win a sentence reduction, the authorities said, Mr. Kaplan began to cooperate with a team of federal and state prosecutors and agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the F.B.I. who had been trying to breathe new life into the case against the detectives.

The development, several of the officials said, made Mr. Eppolito and Mr. Caracappa's indictment possible. The two men were arrested on March 9 in Las Vegas, where they had retired and where they owned homes across the street from each other in a gated community.

Now, Mr. Kaplan appears destined to play one more role: key witness against two retired police detectives who were charged by federal prosecutors last week with some of the most spectacular acts of wrongdoing by New York City law enforcement officers ever - killing mobsters on behalf of mobsters.

It was Mr. Kaplan, law enforcement officials said, who served as the intermediary between the two rogue detectives and Anthony Casso, the onetime Luchese underboss who, prosecutors say, paid the detectives for their help in killing half a dozen or more people in the late 1980's and early 1990's.

Is there any doubt the movie rights to this story will be snapped up in short order? As for the two indicted detectives, here's more on them.

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    Anyone interested in this case should really check out the excellent Gangland News site that specializes in dis dere sorta t'ing. As someone active in politics I find myself fascinated by the mob (in real life and the movies). Maybe it's because I see parallels?

    Re: Cast of Characters Developing in New Mob Case (none / 0) (#3)
    by cp on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 08:16:14 AM EST
    if i recall correctly, john gotti was convicted, and died in prison. not the best track record there. i'm not fascinated by the mob at all, i am repulsed by them. "goodfellas" was probably the most accurate description of the players: gross, brutal, unremittingly psychopathic. completely at odds with the typical portrayal in most movies up to that point. the next best example would be "white heat" with james cagney. a great, great movie, with a great, great actor. "Top a the world, ma!" though it was done in b&w, that adds to the stark clarity of totally separate visions of society represented. cagney, what can i say? my candidate for the most versatile and talented actor of the 20th century. in fairness, paul robison is a close second.

    cp, Cutler won three acquittals for Gotti before he was kicked off a fourth case, the one Gotti got convicted in (in fairness to Al Krieger, Gotti's lawyer in the losing case, no defense attorney would have won that one). He may be obnoxious, but he's got balls.

    The brutality of the mob is a problem. No matter how you glamorize the matter, there is a baseline level of violence and coercion that I object to rather strongly. Now, you add law enforcement types to the situation and very little changes. Still a level of coercion and violence that is relatively common and I object to it strongly whether we are talking about cops moonlighting as hitmen for the mob or cops tasering kids and folks who pose no threat. Power is a problem. Very hard to know when you are wielding it and when it is wielding you. Luckily, as a progressive, I don't have to worry about being in power.

    Re: Cast of Characters Developing in New Mob Case (none / 0) (#6)
    by cp on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 11:48:44 AM EST
    larry, i have no problem with obnoxious, if that's what it takes to get the job done. just ask my wife.......... ca, "The brutality of the mob is a problem."? that is their core, their very essence, their reason for being. it attracts a totally anti-social pariah, with a cheap veneer of respectability. put a thug in a $1,000 armani jacket, and you still have a thug, albeit in a $1,000 armani jacket. they have no socially redeeming qualities, except that they pay their bills on time. were they not members of organized crime, they would still be brutal criminals. law enforcement, on the other hand, ostensibly exists to protect the public from these scum. most do the job honorably, and to the best of their ability. that some may eventually take on the persona of those they go after isn't all that surprising, you tend to become like those you associate with. mom always said that. one way to avoid, though not entirely eliminate, this problem, is mandatory rotation between precincts. it's done at the federal level, for this very reason. the interesting thing with these two is their background: related, by blood, to the very organization they were sworn to fight. seems like they had a potential pre-existing conflict of interest. their supervisors should have taken that into account. i get the impression they made no effort to hide their family ties. should be an interesting trial, certainly more so than the jackson case.

    Wacky "liberals" never cease to amaze. Yes, there are bad cops. And, to a certain extent they're two sides of the same coin. However, there are quite a few differences between them, no? For just one example, when police do their job correctly people don't end up in the New Jersey swamps, yet that's the job description for certain members of the Mafia (which doesn't exist anyway). Also, when I saw the word "garmental" I literally jumped! What's that, a word I don't know? Apparently neither m-w.com nor dictionary.com know of it either. Is it related to "garment"? Is it from some strange American dialect I wasn't familiar with? Please enlighten we logophiles.

    And, to a certain extent they're two sides of the same coin. I meant: "to a certain extent cops and criminals are two sides of the same coin."

    I liked it better when liberals and bad cops were two sides to the same coin. Don't know if it makes any sense, but, like a coin, it has a nice ring to it...

    Re: Cast of Characters Developing in New Mob Case (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 07:52:44 AM EST
    As someone who does a little sports betting, I'm sure I've dealt with the "mob", at least indirectly. I have no complaints. As for the police, where do I begin?

    Re: Cast of Characters Developing in New Mob Case (none / 0) (#11)
    by Patrick on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 04:21:46 PM EST
    K-dog, When you don't pay those bets, don't whine to the police.

    Re: Cast of Characters Developing in New Mob Case (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 09:13:35 PM EST
    I'd never dream of it. Never welched on a bet. Never called a cop.