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Hello, welcome to the Mafia Cop Conspiracy Podcast, Episode Six. My name is Dan Gordon. I’m a screenwriter by trade. I’ve done such movies as “The Hurricane” starring Denzel Washington, and “Wyatt Earp” with Kevin Costner, and the just-released Rambo V: Last Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone.

But nothing I have ever written or researched in a career spanning four decades—with over twenty feature-length movies and literally hundreds of hours of television credits—could have prepared me for the labyrinth of lies, cover-ups and national tragedies which I believe are all a part of what we’ve chosen to call the Mafia Cops Conspiracy.

 

I am writing this episode on the 18th anniversary of 9/11, and tragically, I believe that act—the deadliest terrorist attack ever perpetrated on American soil, the wars it engendered and the lives lost and destroyed—can all be linked to the Mafia Cops Conspiracy. This, I believe, is not the Hollywood-like saga of two rogue cops who went bad. Rather, I believe that this is the story of one of the most destructive cover-ups in our nation’s history and one which affected (and continues to affect) the lives of every American, and not for the better.

If you recall in the last episode, I recounted a number of events, (each of which occurred during 1995). Those events constituted a perfect storm that combines elements of the Mafia, espionage, alleged corruption in one of the highest echelons of the FBI and the beginning of a conspiracy to, I believe, frame and scapegoat two former NYPD highly-decorated detectives, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa.

Anthony Casso tmbAnthony "Gaspipe" CassoThe first of those events centers on Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, who at the time of his arrest was the acting underboss of the Lucchese Crime Family. Anthony Gaspipe Casso later stated that he shared information from an allegedly corrupt FBI Agent who was identified as Special Agent Roy Lindley DeVecchio, the head of the Columbo Family Crime Squad of the FBI. Casso said he shared DeVecchio’s intelligence information with one Greg Scarpa Sr., a Captain in the Columbo family and a killer, so feared even in organized crime circles, that he was referred to as the “Grim Reaper.” Casso would state that he and Scarpa Sr. paid DeVecchio to supply confidential information which the two mobsters used against their enemies leading, in many cases, to the murders of their rivals. If true, that would make Special Agent R. Lindley DeVecchio guilty of Second Degree Murder—bringing to light what could be one of the biggest scandals in FBI history. DeVecchio is believed to be the first FBI agent ever accused of helping a mobster commit crimes and cover them up.

Now, lest you think Gaspipe Casso’s accusation against Agent DeVecchio was simply the rantings of a desperate criminal, bear in mind that these charges were serious enough to spawn not only a two-year FBI investigation of Special Agent DeVecchio in 1996 but 10 years later in 2006, would also lead to DeVecchio being indicted for Second Degree Murder by the Brooklyn District Attorney. Where Special Agent DeVecchio was concerned, there was certainly enough smoke to make both the FBI and New York State prosecutors believe there was a very ugly fire (which they ultimately declined to douse—twice).

Casso stated that when he was arrested, he was debriefed by two Assistant US Attorneys. According to what Casso wrote in two letters discovered during the Mafia Cops trial and in a transcribed telephone interview ordered by Judge Jack Weinstein during that trial, Casso informed the two Federal prosecutors that he had a corrupt FBI agent on his payroll. Casso later identified that FBI agent as R. Lindley DeVecchio. Casso also later stated that he shared DeVecchio with Colombo Family Captain Greg Scarpa Sr.

Lindley DeVecchio tmbFBI Special Agent R. Lin DeVecchioThe second event which occurred in this perfect storm was the triggering of an FBI Office of Professional Responsibility investigation, initiated by FBI Special Agent Chris Favo against his boss, Special Agent DeVecchio, who Favo believed was a crooked cop. Specifically, Favo alleged that DeVecchio was indeed leaking confidential information to Greg Scarpa Sr and Scarpa Sr used at least some of that information to murder his rivals. Officially, Special Agent DeVecchio was Scarpa Sr’s handler, and Scarpa Sr was one of the FBI’s highest-level confidential informants against the mob. It is thought that Favo suspected that the truth was exactly the opposite; namely that Special Agent DeVecchio was, in fact, Scarpa Sr’s snitch. The minute Anthony Casso was arrested, Favo made an official request to interview Casso. The only reason I believe that Favo was so anxious to interview Casso was that he was suspicious about the nature of the Casso/Scarpa Sr. relationship with Special Agent DeVecchio.

Casso later stated that he was ordered by the two Assistant US Attorneys who were handling him, to deceive Special Agent Favo and tell him that he neither had an FBI agent on his payroll nor knew anything about DeVecchio. If that is true, as I suspect it is, the Justice Department had to be in an absolute panic about DeVecchio being unmasked as a mob informant and would go to almost any extremes to prevent the truth about the allegedly corrupt FBI agent from becoming public knowledge. Indeed, they had good reason to be afraid, because once word leaked out that DeVecchio was under investigation, some nineteen organized crime figures had their convictions reversed or charges were thrown out after their lawyers alleged DeVecchio’s involvement in their investigations tainted any evidence against them. And that was what happened only as a result of the internal investigation against DeVecchio. Had he been convicted, the Justice Department had reason to believe it would undo every major mob conviction of the past 15 years, including that of John Gotti, Jr.

Casso would later state that he was told by his handlers to never mention the FBI agent’s name again and instead to implicate two NYPD detectives, whom Casso later completely exonerated in his letters and court-ordered phone interview during the Mafia Cops trial. Those detectives were Louie Eppolito and Steve Caracappa. Casso would later state he told his handlers he knew nothing about either man and indeed, he didn’t even know how to correctly pronounce Caracappa’s name. Casso would state that he was supplied with Louie Eppolito’s book Mafia Cop: The Story of An Honest Cop Whose Family Was the Mob, to familiarize himself with Eppolito in order to be able to implicate him.

Louis Eppolito tmbLouis EppolitoEppolito was the perfect patsy. He readily admitted that his entire family was mobbed up: father, uncles, cousins…all were part of the Gambino Crime Family. Eppolito had been falsely accused in 1984 of supplying NYPD intelligence reports to mobster Rosario Gambino. Though Eppolito was cleared of all charges and exonerated, he cited the false charges as reasons for his retiring from the department in 1994. If the feds were looking for a fall guy on which to pin an allegedly corrupt FBI agent’s crimes, and someone to distract attention from Special Agent DeVecchio’s woes, they could not have found a better candidate than Eppolito. His whole family was mobbed up. He had been accused of leaking information, and he wrote a tell-all book not only detailing his struggle to stay out of the family business, but his fight to maintain and restore his reputation after the disproven charges were leveled against him. The book did not endear Eppolito to the NYPD or the feds. He stated that he encountered more honor amongst mobsters than in either the NYPD or the FBI.

But why would Casso’s handlers suggest implicating Stephen Caracappa? Caracappa had absolutely no mob connections, either through relatives or friends. His NYPD career was a stellar one, and he had never once had the slightest doubt cast on his honesty. He was a man of modest means who, according to friends, was in bed by 9:00 o’clock in the evening if he wasn’t on duty. He had served with honor in an elite combat unit during the Vietnam war and rose in the NYPD to become a member of one of the most prestigious units—the Major Crimes Squad, the best of the best.

stephencaracappa tmbStephen CaracappaAnd that’s why I believe they needed to implicate him. You see, Louie Eppolito was simply an NYPD cop. He had no access of any kind to federal cases. How then could one logically accuse him of leaking FBI intelligence to the mob, since he would never have had access to such information in the first place? But Steve Caracappa was part of Major Crimes which was a joint federal and city task force. He would have access to anything an FBI agent might have. Put the two together, and you had the perfect scapegoats for the crimes of an allegedly corrupt FBI agent who was leaking confidential information to the mob.

So now the perfect storm was gathering: first, Special Agent Favo instituted an investigation of his boss Special Agent R. Lindley DeVecchio for supplying confidential information to mobster Greg Scarpa Sr., and of being an accessory to murders committed by Scarpa Sr.

Second, Anthony Gaspipe Casso was arrested and stated that HE had a corrupt FBI Agent, whom he later identified to his handlers as R. Lindley DeVecchio, on his payroll and additionally confessed that he shared this FBI agent with Greg Scarpa Sr.

Third, as word leaked out that DeVecchio was under investigation by the FBI for supplying information to the mob, and possibly helping Scarpa Sr. frame as well as murder his rivals, various mobsters begin screaming foul and wanted their cases reopened. One of those was the head of the Columbo Crime Family, Vic Orena.

With all that unwanted attention on the possible wrongdoing of a very senior FBI agent, I believe the Feds needed a scapegoat and a distraction. And that is when Casso later said that his handlers leaked a story that Louie Eppolito was both an informant and murderer-for-hire for the mob. When the story broke, Eppolito immediately flew to New York in order to meet with prosecutors in order to clear his name. He was told by the authorities that there were NO murder charges against him of any kind, and indeed there weren’t!

Why then would Federal prosecutors leak such a story to the press? It certainly couldn’t have been Casso who leaked the story; he was in federal custody and co-operating as much as possible with his handlers, who were promising him a get-out-of-jail-free card as a co-operating witness if he kept his mouth shut about the FBI agent allegedly on his payroll, and instead implicated the two NYPD detectives he would later say were completely innocent—and whom he had never even met. Indeed, he would later go so far as to put his own head in the noose by confessing to one of the murders, which he supposedly had ordered them to commit.

What’s the lyric to the old song? “They nursed it and rehearsed it and then sent out the news.” That’s exactly what the feds, according to Casso, did. Except they didn’t give birth to the blues: they gave birth to the Mafia Cops Conspiracy.

And why, if they had a star witness in Casso (who was willing to testify against Eppolito and Caracappa), did they not press charges against the two detectives there and then? Why were no charges in fact brought for a full ten years?

The answer I believe, is simple. They didn’t need to. You see, despite Agent Favo’s evidence against DeVecchio (that the latter was supplying confidential information to mobster Greg Scarpa Sr.), the FBI miraculously cleared DeVecchio of all charges, and he retired with a full pension. With DeVecchio in the clear, there was no need for a scapegoat or a patsy, no need for any so-called Mafia Cops

The need would only arise once again two years later in 1996 when the Columbo Family Boss Vic Orena tried to get his conviction overturned by claiming he had been framed by Special Agent R. Lindley DeVecchio and Greg Scarpa Sr., who had actually committed the murders of which he’d been convicted. And who would be the judge in that trial? None other than Jack Weinstein, the same man who would later be the judge in the trial of Louie Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, 10 years later.

ramziyousef tmbRamzi "The Engineer" YousefAnd the star witness, in that case, would be none other than Greg Scarpa Jr., the man whom the FBI beginning in 1995 had as it’s a sole high-level confidential informant against the most notorious terrorist in the world, Ramzi Yousef. You would think that if Scarpa Jr. was reliable enough to be trusted by the FBI against the man who carried out the first World Trade Center bombing , whose boss was Osama bin Laden, and whose uncle was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed—that his word would be trusted about his father’s crooked dealings with an allegedly corrupt FBI agent named R. Lindley DeVecchio.

But you would be wrong; Judge Jack Weinstein would see to that personally. And with the spotlight once again on DeVecchio, the feds would once again need a patsy, the so-called Mafia Cops. And I believe the tragedy, the horror of it all, is that in the fed’s efforts to conceal the wrongdoings of a corrupt FBI agent, the FBI and the Justice Department unwittingly paved the way for the downing of TWA 800, and the attacks on September 11th, 2001.

We’ll explore all of that in the next episode of Mafia Cops Conspiracy, a conspiracy, for which I believe, we are all still paying the price.

Mafia Cops Conspiracy Podcast Episode 6

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A telephone conversation between Anthony Casso and the Mafia Cops' alternate attorneys where Casso exonerates the defendants.
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