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NY Mafia cops found guilty of murder

The Associated Press

NEW YORK- Two decorated former police detectives were convicted Thursday of moonlighting as hit men for the mob in what a prosecutor described as "the most violent betrayal of the badge this city has ever seen."

A federal jury deliberated for two days before announcing the verdicts against Louis Eppolito, 57, and Steven Caracappa, 64.

The two detectives, who spent a combined 44 years on the New York City Police force and once worked as partners, now face up to life in prison.

Eppolito and Caracappa were accused of leading a double life for years.

In the daylight, they were respected city detectives, but at the same time, they moonlighted as hired killers for Luchese crime family underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Wenner described their crimes and mob association as "the bloodiest, most violent betrayal of the badge this city has ever seen."

The ex-detectives were accused in eight murders, with prosecutors charging that they used their positions as crime fighters to aid the crime family -- for a salary of $4,000 a month.

That increased when the detectives personally handled the killing, authorities said; they were paid $65,000 for the slaying of a mobster during a phony traffic stop.

Casso also referred to the pair as his "crystal ball," providing inside information on law enforcement interest in the mob world, authorities said.

Caracappa, who retired in 1992, helped establish the city police department's office for Mafia murder probes.

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