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Last Updated: Friday, 11 March, 2005, 13:05 GMT
New York cops 'were Mafia hitmen'
Police officer
The horrific charges are rare in NY police history
Two retired New York City detectives have been arrested and charged with murder on behalf of the US Mafia.

Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito were paid "handsomely" for involvement in the murders and attempted murders of 11 people, the charge sheet said.

They disclosed confidential security information to their "mob benefactors" - the Luchese Mafia family, it said.

The two men were police officers from the 1960s to the 1990s. They were arrested in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Contract killing

In announcing the indictment and arrest, US Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf said: "These corrupt former detectives betrayed their shields, their colleagues, and the citizens they were sworn to protect."

"For years, they were on retainer with the mob - they were paid handsomely for participating directly and indirectly in the murders and attempted murders of 11 individuals and for disclosing highly confidential law enforcement information to their mob benefactors."

Eppolito and Caracappa were not two good cops who went bad. It seems clear they were two bad guys who somehow became cops
Pasquale D'Amuro

The charges say the two were paid $4,000 (2,083) a month to pass highly confidential law enforcement information to Luchese family underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, after rival Gambino family associates tried to kill him in September 1986.

On one of four alleged murders, they are said to have accepted a $65,000 (33,851) contract from Casso to murder Edward "Eddie" Lino from the Gambino family, who was suspected of involvement in the attempt on Casso's life.

The charge sheet accuses them of shooting Lino dead on 6 November 1992 after they pulled him over on Brooklyn's beltway.

Mr Caracappa was a former member of the New York Police Department's organised crime homicide unit, while Mr Eppolito - son of Gambino footsoldier Ralph "Fat the Gangster" - co-authored the 1992 book Mafia Cop: The Story of an Honest Cop Whose Family Was the Mob.

He also played the role of Fat Andy in the film Goodfellas.

Pasquale D'Amuro of the FBI's New York office said the pair "were not two good cops who went bad. It seems clear they were two bad guys who somehow became cops."

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