Feature Articles

August 2005

Partners In Crime: The Mafia Cops

By J. R. de Szigethy and Lou Eppolito, Jr.

Part Six: Another Murder, Another Warning

     Accused �Mafia Cops� Lou Eppolito Sr. and Steven Caracappa have now been hit with a new superceding indictment, accusing them of a ninth Mob-related murder, that of diamond merchant Israel Greenwald, who vanished without a trace in 1986. The new charge is in addition to a previous indictment alleging drug trafficking, involvement in the murders of 8 people and conspiring to murder others unsuccessfully, most notably former Gambino Family Underboss Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.

     Greenwald, who has been reported to have been involved in money laundering with the Luchese Family, was ordered murdered after former Luchese acting Underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso came to believe Greenwald was co-operating with the Feds� investigation of Luchese crime family operations. Benjamin Brafman, a spokesperson for the Greenwald family, denied to the Media that Greenwald was involved in criminal activity and portrayed him as an innocent victim caught up in the murderous paths of the two �Mafia Cops.� Brafman is perhaps best known for his past representation of Sammy Gravano.

     Despite this new indictment, Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Jack Weinstein has thrown the case into disarray, once again warning the Prosecutors that their case linking the murders a generation ago with the recent drug trafficking charges may not survive an expected Motion to Dismiss in which the Defendant�s lawyers will argue that statute of limitations under the RICO act have expired. Weinstein delayed the start of the trial to late December, during which time the attorneys for the accused cops may well succeed in having the entire murder, murder conspiracy, and racketeering case thrown out. That would leave only the drug trafficking charges intact, a relatively minor case that Eppolito attorney Bruce Cutler has claimed was instigated by Eppolito�s young son Anthony, age 24.

     However, retired NYPD Detective Tommy Dades recently told the Daily News that Prosecutors in the Brooklyn District Attorney�s Office would arrest Eppolito and Caracappa on the steps outside the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse on State murder charges, should Judge Weinstein dismiss the Federal charges against them.

     Given this scenario, it�s likely that this case against the two accused �Mafia Cops� will not be resolved until the end of 2006, if not later. Detective Dades is one of several close to this case that are negotiating book deals, but given the current circumstances, it�s likely that all such will have to wait until the end of 2006 or the beginning of 2007 before the legal issues of this case are finally over, and books and/or screenplays can be finished.

     Such book/screenplay deals include those reportedly being contemplated by former Detectives Eppolito and Caracappa themselves, as outrageous to some as that may seem. If in fact, at the end of the day, the two �Mafia Cops� walk away from these charges, they will then run at a faster pace all the way to the bank, their book and movie to follow.

to be continued

Related Features:

Partners in Crime: The Mafia Cops
Part Five: A Troubled Prosecution

Partners in Crime: The Mafia Cops
Part Four: Judge Grants Bail

Partners in Crime: The Mafia Cops
Part Three: The Emergence of 'Crystal Meth'

Partners in Crime: The Mafia Cops
Part Two: The Cop Who Loved Snakes

Partners in Crime: The Mafia Cops
Part One: Mafia Cops Indicted

Mob War! Murder, Deception, and Intrigue Inside New York�s Colombo Mafia Family

James Ridgway de Szigethy can be reached at:

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