In all the years that two NYPD detectives allegedly worked as moles and hitmen for the mob, they had only one face-to-face meeting with the Luchese underboss who had them on his payroll, reports Ganglandnews.com. The former detectives, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, had a safety net they called the “Old Man” – a millionaire drug dealer who served as a trusted go-between and refused to break even after he was hammered with a 27-year sentence for marijuana smuggling, sources say.
About six months ago, however, the safety net collapsed for Eppolito and Caracappa, leading to their arrests last week in Las Vegas. Sources told Ganglandnews.com that Burton Kaplan, now about 70, has finally admitted his role as an intermediary and agreed to finger the ex-detectives for taking part in eight successful murders plots between 1986 and 1991 and a host of additional crimes. Kaplan, who imported more than 50 tons of marijuana and lesser amounts of cocaine to New York in the early 1990s, is the linchpin to the racketeering and murder charges lodged against the retired detectives last week. Convicted at trial for drug smuggling, Kaplan was sentenced in 1998 to 27 years in prison. Recently, however, Kaplan's name vanished from the Bureau of Prisons' list of inmates.