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Stephen Caracappa, one of ‘Mafia cops’ dies in prison at 75

Former NYPD Detective Stephen Caracappa leaves Brooklyn Federal

Former NYPD Detective Stephen Caracappa leaves Brooklyn Federal Court on March 21, 2006. Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Stephen Caracappa, one of the infamous “Mafia Cops” convicted in 2006 of carrying out murders for the mob while working with the NYPD, has died in prison while serving a life sentence, federal records reveal.

In a terse message on the federal Bureau of Prison website, the notice “Deceased: 04/08/2017” appeared under a search of Caracappa’s status. The agency gave no indication of the cause of Caracappa’s death, although he had said in one court filing last year that he had cancer. He was 75 and reportedly was at the federal prison medical facility in Butner, North Carolina.

Caracappa, a gaunt, bespectacled man with a short clipped mustache, was convicted along with his former NYPD partner Louis Eppolito on racketeering charges they secretly took over $75,000 from the Lucchese crime family to carry out hits and pass along confidential information.

According to trial testimony in Brooklyn federal court, among those killed in February 1986 was jeweler Israel Greenwald, whose remains were found years later buried under a garage in Brooklyn. Another man killed, according to investigators, was Gambino crime family captain Edward Lino of Fort Salonga who was shot dead in November 1990 after the duo pulled him over by the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn.

In one case of mistaken identity, the two detectives incorrectly identified an innocent Brooklyn man named Nicholas Guido as a mob associate targeted for death by former acting Lucchese Anthony Casso. The innocent Guido was gunned down on Christmas Day 1986.

Eppolito, now 68, is serving his life sentence in a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona.

Caracappa’s efforts to overturn his conviction were denied by an appeals court in April 2016. Last June, Caracappa beseeched Brooklyn federal judge Jack B. Weinstein to grant him a compassionate release because he suffered from terminal cancer. Weinstein responded: “Thank you for your letter filed on June 27, 2016. There is nothing I can do in your case.”

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