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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 01:05 GMT 02:05 UK
NY Mafia policemen 'to get life'
Louis Eppolito (left) and Stephen Caracappa. File photo
The two men were long-serving New York detectives
A US judge has told two former New York policemen convicted of carrying out murders for the mafia that he will sentence them to life in jail.

But the judge delayed formal sentencing until later in the month, when the pair will have a final day in court.

Louis Eppolito, 57, and Stephen Caracappa, 64, were convicted for participating in eight murders.

"This is probably the most heinous series of crimes ever tried in this courthouse," the judge said.

The former detectives were found guilty of working for the Luchese crime clan.

The pair - who were convicted by a jury in April - betrayed no emotion as the judge spoke, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Judge Jack Weinstein delayed the formal sentencing until at least 23 June, when they are expected to argue that their lawyers did not adequately represent them.

'Crystal ball'

Eppolito and Caracappa, who were decorated for their efforts as detectives, were convicted of involvement in eight murders on behalf of the Mafia between 1986 and 1990.

Prosecutors said the two men carried out two killings themselves, after halting the victims' vehicles at traffic stops.

Other victims were kidnapped before being handed over to the Luchese family.

The court also heard that on one occasion, the two detectives arrested a Mafia figure only to hand him over to be tortured and murdered.

Prosecutors also said the pair provided inside information about informants, and were referred to by Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso of the Luchese family as his crystal ball.

Prosecutor Mitra Hormozi said each detective received a monthly payment of $4,000 (2,300) from the Mafia for handing over confidential police information.

The pair, who retired in the early 1990s, had denied the allegations. They declined to give evidence in court in their defence.

Eppolito played a bit part in the classic Mob movie Goodfellas, and then unsuccessfully tried his hand at Hollywood script-writing.

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07 Apr 06 |  Americas
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