Louis Eppolito was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 22, 1948. The son of Ralph "Fats the Gangster", a bookie for the Gambino Crime Family, and Tessie, a Registered Nurse, Louie was raise along side his older sister, Pauline. From an early age Louie was instilled with a code of conduct focusing of respect, family, and honor.
At the age of 20 he joined the NYC Police Department as a trainee. On July 1, 1969, Louis graduated from the NYC Police Department’s academy.
Louis was married to Frances Todisco in August 1973 and they have three children, Andrea, Deanna and Tony.
As a police officer, Louis received many awards and commendations for bravery, honor, and valor. On July 1, 1977 he was promoted to Third Grade Detective. Making detective was a tremendous honor that Louie did not take lightly. He worked tirelessly in the streets of New York to protect women, children, animals, and the elderly. For his bravery and heroic acts he was presented with two Medal of Valor awards and was inducted into the prestigious Honor Society.
In November of 1984 Louis was suspended from the NYC Police Department after having been accused of passing sensitive documents to a member of Organized Crime. For the six month period of his suspension he received no pay, no benefits, and was encouraged to "vest out" of the police department. This process would have spared him and his family a trial, guaranteed no criminal charges for the alleged acts, and allowed him to keep his pension. Louie refused. He was innocent, and was intent on proving it.
In April of 1985, a Judge found Louis Eppolito NOT Guilty of all charges. He was vindicated, cleared, and resumed his career as a detective. Not long thereafter, he was promoted to Second Grade Detective.
One day, while accompanying a friend to an audition, a casting director encouraged Lou to audition for a small part in a big movie. A few days later, Louie received word that he had been cast as Fat Andy, a gangster in the Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas. While working along side the likes of Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesce, and Ray Liotta Louie began to tell tales from his childhood.
At the behest of Mr. DeNiro, Louie began working on his life story, which was published by Simon & Schuster. Originally called “The Man in the Middle” in Louie’s first draft, Simon & Schuster’s marketing department reworked the title, dubbing it “Mafia Cop: The Story of an Honest Cop Who’s Family Was the Mob.”
Louie’s new career in the Entertainment Industry progressed quickly. He began acting, writing and technical advising. Louie’s work can be seen in such films as Goodfellas, State of Grace, Switch, Company Business, Lost Highway, Bullets Over Broadway, Ruby, and Predator 2. He worked under esteemed directors such as previously mentioned Martin Scorsese, Phil Joanou, and David Lynch. His acting improved while working with the likes of Robert DeNiro, Sean Penn, Gary Oldman, and Ellen Barkin.
In 1994, soon after relocating to Las Vegas with his family, and just weeks away from beginning production on a feature film based on “Mafia Cop” the Daily News ran an article accusing Louie Eppolito and his former partner, Detective First Grade Stephen Caracappa, of involvement in the murder of known mobster Eddie Lino. Louis traveled to New York, consulted with an attorney, and made himself available for questioning. Neither the NYPD nor the FBI wished to question Louie about anything, and nothing ever became of the charges.
The same could be said for the “Mafia Cop” movie. Despite never having been so much as questioned by authorities, the studio felt it best to suspend production and abandon the project. Disappointed, but not defeated, Louie went back to work.
In 2000 an original screenplay entitled “Turn of Faith” written by Louis Eppolito was also produced. Starring Academy Award nominee Charles Durning, Ray Mancini, Costas Mandylor, and Mia Sara and directed by Award Winning Director Charles Jarrot, “Turn of Faith” was shot on location in Youngstown, Ohio. It was the highlight of his career.
On March 9, 2005 Louis Eppolito was arrested, along side former partner Stephen Caracappa. Charged under the RICO statute for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. The media went into a frenzy, dubbing the two Mafia Cops and spinning tales of murder, kidnapping, selling police information, and drug trafficking. Arrests for Louie’s son, Tony, family friend Guido Bravatti, and even his wife, Frances, soon followed.
While Louis Eppolito always maintained his innocence, and despite Federal Judge Jack Weinstein’s concerns over the expired statute of limitations, the government pressed on with their case. Louis hired Bruce Cutler, a long time friend from his days in the Prosecutor’s office, to represent him. Stephen hired Ed Hayes.
The two lawyers quickly abandoned their clients, going through the most basic motions, and refusing to put up even the most basic defense.
On April 6, 2006 both Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa were found guilty of 17 indictments under the RICO Act. The trial lasted less than three weeks. The jury took less than 3 days to make a decision. Upon exiting court, members of the jury stated that it was the lack of defense put on that ultimately determined their decision.
Louis sprung into action, speaking to reporters by phone and discussing at length the issues he had with Bruce Cutler, the lack of defense, the evidence he had showing his innocence, and questioning why the jury was never shown these documents and more.
Judge Weinstein, responding to the statements, called for an Evidentiary Hearing. With new council Joseph Bondy at his side, the defense argued for ineffective council and detailed how and why they believed that they were railroaded. The government took the opportunity to finally question Louis Eppolito, doing their best to paint him as a racist and murderer. The trial was a circus, and the defense left feeling disheartened after the judge said he felt that the lawyers did provide a level of defense.
Then, in a stunning legal move, Federal Judge Jack Weinstein overturned the conviction of both Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa. His written decision stated that, while he personally believed that they were guilty, that the statute of limitations had expired on all RICO charges. he severed Las Vegas based charges of tax evasion and drug trafficking, going so far as to say that he did not believe that they should be tried for the crimes and that, if they were, that they should utilize an entrapment defense.
Despite having the verdict set aside and having no charges pending against them, both Louis and Stephen were remanded to solitary confinement at Brooklyn’s MDC Prison until such time as the government could appeal the case.
It took over a year for the Appellate Court to hear the case, and another year before they rendered their decision. While the court found that Judge Jack Weinstein was correct in his legal findings and that the indictment was not legal under the guidelines, the conviction was reinstated in order to preserve the integrity of jury trials.
In short, the federal government wants Louis Eppolito to die in prison. Despite the law, The Appellate Court would ensure that he would.
Joseph Bondy appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court. While they were initially interested in hearing the case, after several briefs they declined to move forward.
At his sentencing, Louis Eppolito continued to profess his innocence, vowing to spend the rest of his life fighting these charges. Judge Jack Weinstein stated that the crimes the two men were convicted of were some of the most heinous ever tried in the court room.
Louis Eppolito was sentenced to Life, Plus 100 Years, and a $4.7 Million fine was levied against his estate.
Detective Louis Eppolito is Not Guilty of the crimes he has been charged with. The indictment against him was illegally structured, the product of a long term witch-hunt. The case against him was written, paid for, and produced by the Federal Government, starring unscrupulous rats who traded lies for their own personal freedom.
At present time, Louis Eppolito is serving his sentence in a maximum security facility in Tucson, Arizona. Stephen Caracappa has been remanded to Victorville, California.
Louis Eppolito is Not Guilty. And he can prove it.