Retired Intelligence Detective Gary Jenkins brings you the best in mob history with his unique perception of the mafia. He interviews former Brooklyn prosecutor Michael Vecchione, who helped uncover the Mafia Cops Louis Eppolito and Steve Caracappa. Michael Vecchione tells how he worked with NYPD Det. Tommy Dades to expose these traitors to law enforcement. They learned how Eppolito and Caracoppa worked under the direction of Lucchese’s Underboss, Anthony Gaspipe Casso. Michael Vecchione tells how a mother saw Eppolito on TV promoting his mafia book and remembered he was a cop looking for her son, Jimmy Hydell, just before someone murdered him. Starting with this clue Vecchione and Dades gathered all the information they could find on these two cops and exposed their life-long pattern of committing crimes for the Mafia.
Eppolito’s Mob connections were deep. His father, Ralph “Fat the Gangster” Eppolito, acted as a Gambino soldier and enforcer. His uncle was James “Jimmy the Clam” Eppolito, a Gambino captain who led gambling and other rackets. “Jimmy,” who made his son, James Jr., a family member, had once worked for family boss Carlo Gambino and associated closely with racketeer Carmine Lambordozi.
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GARY JENKINS 00:00
They had one called gangster capitalism and I asked them if they do a promo for me on their show if I do a promo for them on my show and they agreed they did. I recorded a little promo put it on gangster capitalism, and I gotta, I gotta get pretty good run up. Welcome all you guys back here in the studio of gangland wire, have a show today that we’re going to deal with official corruption a little bit. And the reason I’m doing this show is I want to give a little plug for some people another podcast company that our favor to that and so I am returning the favor. Now they have a new podcast just coming out called the set
suit up in my uniform. And you’re going out on patrol. What are we going to do tonight? What we’re going to rob some drug dealers and I know how to do it really well.
Listen to and follow the set an odyssey originals documentary podcast series available wherever you get your shows. I’m not a
bad guy man. But I love being that dirty mother.
GARY JENKINS 01:06
That’s s e t and it’s about the what was became known at the time as the dirty 30 which is a precinct in Manhattan. And there was all this crap money flowing around during the 90s and and there’s people that took money so when became quite a investigation publicly and these guys are taking a dive deep dive into it. They’ve got some of the former cops and criminals that are have given them interviews. So that will be an interesting podcast and I’ll have a link to it in the show notes. So that’s my promo for the set at Miko. Vets. Yone is my guest here and he’s been on before, if you remember the Luigi, the zip, the Sicilian hitman. Well, this is Michael Vecchione. And the man that interviewed Luigi zip and came up with a lot of really interesting insights into the Sicilian Mafia and the city city and mafia in New York City, and kind of how that works. And I know a lot of you really liked that show. So welcome, Michael,
Michael Vecchione 02:04
thank you very much for having me back. I appreciate the time.
GARY JENKINS 02:07
So Michael, as you just heard me say and what I wanted, we’ve talked about a little bit about this before was about kind of this official corruption that goes on in big cities. And you wrote a couple of books about that one’s called friends of the family. It’s about the two mafia cops, Lewis Eppolito, and Steven Caracoppa, and you have another one called Cricut, Brooklyn. And, you know, my own experience is, especially during the crack wars, there was so much money out there, you know, I even had a drug dealer asked me said, Hey, Sarge, you ever seen a whole room full of money? And of course, the the under underlying that was I’ve got a room full of money. And do you want some of that room full of exactly. I just said, No, man, that’s okay. I’m cool. He just laughed and went on, you know, we ended up putting him in jail and put his brother in jail. So you know, but it was out there. And it’s always out there. And Michael’s been on the front lines of fighting that visual corruption, whether it be prosecuted, I mean, everybody prosecuted office, cops. Everybody, judges, judges is susceptor. Guess what? There’s that much money out there. So Michael, you , let’s start talking about that in New York. You’ve been on the front lines, Oh, your second book was Crooked Brooklyn, and which was strictly about that where you were a prosecutor in Brooklyn, correct? Right. So right, well are talking about
Michael Vecchione 03:30
that. Okay, well, you know, if we start with the with the Mafia Cops case, the Mafia Cops case came to me about 10 years after they had both retired. But I have to say that during the time those in those 10 years, I had also been the head of the police. The the head of the prosecution arm of the police department for a couple of years, was called the department advocate and I was the chief prosecutor. And what we did was, we were the internal internal prosecutors for the police department and we prosecuted police officers for violations and not only police officers, people who work for the police department for violations of their you know, the rules and procedures of the police department. And sometimes you had to you came upon an investigation, which actually was a criminal investigation and it would be passed on to the district attorney’s. That’s where I first learned about Louis Eppolito I had heard about him when I was there and and it was a kind of in the vein of being frustrated the people who were looking to investigate him were frustrated they all felt at some point or another that he was not the cleanest cop in the world. And and and then after he wrote a book called mafia cop in which he talked about how his family were all mafia members and that he’s held themselves up to be the only you know the only clean cop or the only clean person in his family. It really got the ire of a lot of the the police department brass, but quite frankly, there wasn’t much of an investigation It wasn’t much going on until we got the case which was about 10 years later and when I say we are talking about my my good friend Tommy Dades who was a detective in the intelligence division in the police department came to me one day and he said walk just walked into my office and said, Hey, I got some new information you interested in looking at Caracappa and Eppolito? Now I also knew about Caracoppa from the same sources. And I said, Yeah, why What do you have? He says, I think I got something that’s going to crack this thing open. And he tells me about a woman whose whose son was actually killed by Gaspipe Casso who was the Lucchese under boss Consigilere, who had the mafia cops on the Lucchese payroll and it all began with Lucchese with Gaspipe an unsuccessful hit on gaspipe by the by John Gotti and the Gambino family and the reason for that was gaspipe was part and parcel of a an attempted assassination on Gotti earlier and he missed he missed but Gotti knew who was behind it and set out to get gaspipe and he hired four guys who followed gaspipe around got to a particular location in Brooklyn in a corner while they both stopped at a traffic light and they opened fire on gaspipe in the car next to them and missed again. He was injured but not killed. And he said out at that point we’ll find out who was in that car and who those four assassins or attempted assassins were and what did he have he had what he called his crystal ball and his crystal ball was Eppolito and Caracoppa and Kaplan. They were on his payroll, because they had been they had been recruited by an old Lucchese guy whose name was Kaplan and Kaplan had had known the had known Eppolito, had known Carracoppa when they were working and I say working for and working for the for the Gambino family but the Gambino family did something to a relative of Eppolito so he got pissed off, and they didn’t start working for them and it didn’t they stopped working for them and Kaplan heard about this and he was he knew that that somebody like gas pipe could use them and recruited them. And if he was the intermediary, they never met gaspipe. Gaspipe never met them. But gaspipe knew that if he paid Kaplan and Kaplan paid them they would do what he was looking to do. So what he wanted was to find out who was in that car so he could take care of them. He found out that one of them was it was a guy named Jimmy Rydell and Rydell was a local thug, you know, local hanger on half a wiseguy, as they say not a made guy who was one of the people in that car and the and the mafia cops found out that it that it was him and he was one of the people. And they told gaspipe and gaspipe said bring him to so they go to Staten Island where hi dad lives and they knock on his mother’s door. He lived with his mother. She doesn’t know who they are. She has no idea who they are and they’re looking for they’re looking for this his son and her son. She says Jimmy is not around Jamie’s not. They leave and they stop a guy on the street who they think is Jimmy Hydell. It turns out it’s his brother, Frankie. And they Hasler and Frankie tells him Jimmy, he’s not here, and I’m not Jimmy and Jimmy is not here. He’s over in Brooklyn. And he tells him where they could where where they are, because they’d give him some bullshit story that they’re two cops looking to. He’s been wanting he’s a witness in a particular case, et cetera. And he doesn’t think anything of it. So they go to Brooklyn, and they find out that he’s in some social club or I think it might have actually been a bowling alley they tell you the truth and they sit outside and they wait and they see him and they give him a line and tell him that you know that he’s wanted they want to talk to him and they put him in a car police car, which was basically a dummy car. It was not an actual it looked like it was a Crown Victoria at that time. And the cops were using Crown Victorias but this was not an official car. It was one that they had that they use to pull this kind of loose on people they drive them to a particular location and stop they say to him okay get out of the car and he thinks that he’s going into a police station instead what they do is they put them in they tie him up and put them in a trunk of the car. And they drive them now to the parking lot of a big kind of box store called Toys R Us and I don’t know if how if your your listeners or viewers know knew that but it’s sort of like the Costco of toys at the time and it was a big huge toy store and they drive them there. And what happens is gas pipe sends a couple of guys to the to the parking lot. They come into the parking lot and they put Hi del into the trunk of the gas pipe team car and they drive away that they get paid for that. And as it turns out, when they get I’ll give it fast forward a little bit they bring him to this this home in Brooklyn owned by a by a by a guy who is was a member of the of Lucchese family, and they bring him to the basement and gaspipe torchers, torchers he gets who else is the names of who else was in that car. And then they take care of them and they kill them. And I find out later on from gaspipe himself where the body wound up that story is the background to how the mafia cops came to me. And that is Mrs. Hydell picks up the phone one day and calls Tommy Dades. And why did she do it? Because she got to know Tommy because her other son Frankie was murdered. And Tommy was the detective who was assigned to that murder. She got to know him. She knew Tommy was a good guy. And she finally finally came forward with this information which she had been holding for years. And what it was was she found out who the two guys were who knocked on her door looking for her son Jimmy, because she was watching television one morning, and it was a talk show on called the Sally Jessy Raphael show. And who was his her main guest that day, Louis eppolito he was pitching his book mafia cop. And she went out and bought the book. And she opened it up. And in the middle of the book is a photograph of Louie and Steve Caracoppa together. And she said, man, now I know who this is. And listen, I know, hopefully this won’t surprise, you did surprise me a little bit. She went to the FBI first. They didn’t have they had no interest in this. She went to the US Attorney’s Office, they had no interest in it. So she held on to it. Finally, it got really too much for her. She called timing and said listen, I never told you this. And she tells him this story. And Tommy comes to me. And he says do you want to start this investigation? And I said, Yeah, why not? Let’s go do it. Where are the files? Now? Keep in mind, Gary, 10 years old. So I sent Tommy over to the US Attorney’s office. He went he was shown into a room that had about 10 or 15 boxes of files on the mafia cops and other things and they were all dusty. He put him in his car drove into the D A ‘s office. So we set them up in an office right above mine on the floor above mine. And he began looking through this one day he comes in one morning, and he’s happy is he’s happy as hell. He says Mike, Mike, you’re not going to believe we got it. We got it. What did he find? He found a computer printout that had been that had been the had been, I guess, created by Steve Caracoppa. And what was it? It was the name of another guy who was in that car that did the gas pipe pit. And his name was Nikki Guido. And you could see from the computer printout that Louis and that Steve Caracoppa came up with this Nikki Guido. They didn’t know his exact age, but they estimated the age. He lived in Brooklyn in the area where they thought Nikki Guido would live and he sells the information he gets paid for this of course and he gives it to gas pipe. Now why is that significant? Because there’s an open homicide in Brooklyn and the deceased is a guy named Nikki Guido
GARY JENKINS 13:31
Yeah, that’s right. Is this the one they got the wrong
Michael Vecchione 13:35
date got the wrong guy. They got the wrong Nikki Greta so so that that really began the investigation and what we found was what my boss at the time of the arrest called the most the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the New York City Police Department power Captain eppolito Were on the mob payroll for information and then they had a little side deal and the side deal was if gas pipe wanted someone hit he paid them extra to do the hit and they do they do at least one hit which also helps us in terms of getting these guys in and ultimately leading to the conviction that that happens is they pull a guy over on the side of the of one of the big highways in Brooklyn who they believe is the one of the the third of the four people in that car I’m sorry that he is one of them but they when they pull them over they asked him if he had given his cousin’s name and he says no no no no I’m That’s not That’s my cousin that’s who you want and they say something to him like what what’s that on for the car and as he leans over to look down Tara cap and shoots him and kills Cara Catherine for drops his watch at the scene and it’s recovered and it’s put into into one of these box into you know, into the file is put into one of these boxes. So we have compiled all All of this evidence now, but there’s a hole. And the hole is we need someone on the inside. If we’re going to put two detectives away, we need someone on the inside and I go and make a call to gas pipe castles attorney. And why do I do that because Castle was in Brooklyn, believe it or not in federal jail, getting ready to testify as a witness in a case in which the US attorney is prosecuting one of his one of his cronies. And and I called the US attorney and asked them if they would give me permission because you need permission to go into the federal facility to take the guy out. And after a lot of back and forth, they didn’t want to didn’t want me to do it. They were not very cooperative, the US attorney and I find out later on why I they finally say, okay, you know, you can go talk to them, and they’ll talk to you, it’s fine. I call his lawyer and tell them what I want. His lawyer tells me, I’ll speak to gaslight, he gets back to me in a few days. And he says no, good. We’re not doing it. I said why? said because I want you to give him I want I want you to give him immunity for that murder. He says okay, but I want federal immunity as well. And here’s where the problem comes, federal authorities won’t give it to won’t give me won’t give me immunity. And I don’t know why. And he thought that by giving gas pipe any play at all, and making him the key to a case against two detectives would give him credit. And that would would that would would then jeopardize their case against God. So it didn’t go anywhere. And and we were kind of behind the eight ball. Now, I gotta tell you this, that the corruption was so bad with these two guys, that when I finally looked at gas pipes, three Oh twos which are the police do which the the FBI investigated investigative forms and files. They had he had chapter and verse as to who they were involved in killing, who those who watch information they were involved in turning over to gas pipe so he could kill Gary, it was it was unbelievable. It was unbelievable. And it was so eye opening that even the Feds after all of the years that they refused to prosecute, because they had all this information. They then took our stuff and essentially stole the case from us. Because I was going to prosecute this. They took it they sold me a bill of goods that we would get all we would get we would get credit and we could have an assistant DA be part of the team. And then what did they do? They just went ahead and made the arrest without having us involved in terms of notifying us and they wound up trying to case in federal court. They convicted them. And the judge set it aside at that point. Why? Because they charged them on the Rico. And the judge felt that the Rico was weak and it was not. So I was getting the case back. In fact, I got it back to prepare it for trial. And then ultimately it went up to the appellate court. And the appellate court reversed the lower court and they went to jail and they both died in jail. But it was it was something that quite frankly, I wouldn’t I’ll never forget because you could not believe the amount of of corruption that was involved and what they were getting. They were on the payroll for a retainer, I think it was about $4,000 a month. And then if they did a hit, that was another, you know, whatever it was 10, 15 20,000 that they were getting, and they were more than happy to do it. And they were doing this for years scary years. And then they retired, they retired, went to Las Vegas, and began drug dealing in Vegas, which is how they ultimately defense ultimately cobbled together a RICO because of the continued drug activity and in Vegas, and and what they didn’t understand and what they really weren’t smart enough to figure out is that one of the people who they were working with, as they suppose as a supposedly go between between the drugs that they were selling and the people who wanted the drugs turned out to be a DEA informant. And that kind of led them to lead us to lead the feds to to the to the case that they had and and it was it was remarkable. Remarkable. I don’t think you know I did a lot of cases as the Department advocate which were corruption cases I’ve done corruption cases after that but in terms of pure and unadulterated corruption and in terms of killing actually killing people not looking the other way when someone you know was selling drugs or looking the other way when you know when one of your partners fills up his the back of his car with you know with with wood goods it’s certain goods you know that from from a guy who who they put the strong arm on it wasn’t that when you’re actually killing people as a result of of getting money for you know, from the from the mob, so, so that was a that was a very, very eye opening case. And you know, it kind of was The beginning of what turned out to be a six or seven year corruption investigation from that I did with the rackets division of my operation, which led to crooked Brooklyn. And that was an entirely different type of corruption. Because while I had the mafia cops during that period of time, the center of that case was judicial corruption, and the corruption that, that a judge and I’ll give you how we started it off, and it’s an interesting situation, I get a call one afternoon, on a Sunday, I’m watching a football game Sunday at home and I get a call from the DEA. And he says to me, be in the office tomorrow at a certain time. A lawyer who I happen to know who was my former boss, my early days in the DHS office has a client who needs to talk to you. He’s got a judge who’s he’s got a crooked judge in Brooklyn. I said, Okay, so I meet him, but I don’t meet him at the office, because we didn’t want to have this lawyer and an attorney who was who was kind of well known in Brooklyn, showing up at the DHS office. Because it was, although Brooklyn is a big place. The legal community is a very small, tight community. And, and today’s Office is right in the smack in the middle of the legal community, someone’s seeing this guy walk into the DA’s office could have raised some issues. And we needed to keep this under wraps as best we could. So what am I detectives rented a little small Ballroom in a hotel, which the DA is Office shared a building with. And so it was not very unusual for this guy to walk into the hotel, there was a restaurant in the hotel with his lawyer, etc. And he went directly to this room. And what we did was we also created a sign that said, like, you know, just making this up, like Georgia enterprises meeting or something of that nature, because we didn’t want people to get nosy and find see what was going on. And I walk in and I sit down with his lawyer and his client. And he tells me that he is a he’s a civil attorney who has a client who was injured in a very severe automobile accident. And not only was she injured, but her infant daughter. And when I say infant, I mean the legal term infant, not a little really someone in swaddling clothes, but a young young kid thinks she was like two years old, sitting in the backseat in the car seat in the back of the car, injured very, very severely. And he brings the lawsuit, and he gets in front of and he and the other side, settle the lawsuit for millions of dollars. Now in New York, in order to settle a lawsuit involving an infant, the judge has to be careful and make sure that the money that is going to the infant actually is earmarked for the infant. In other words, there has to be that to be bank account set up for the infant and only the infant to be able to have access to or the guardian. You can’t so that the parents unscrupulous parents don’t scoop up the money and spend it before the kid is even 18 years old. So it’s very important that the judge sign off. In fact, it’s essential in order to settle a case involving an infant in New York. So the judge in this case agrees okay, you know, the, the settlement is great several millions of several million dollars. And the lawyer prepares the what’s called an infant compromise, which is the settlement papers for the judge to sign and he gives them to the judge. And days and weeks and months pass no signature. So one day gets a call the lawyer and it’s the judge. And he says, come to my chambers. Let’s take a walk. So they leave, they leave the courthouse, take a walk. And the judge says to him, essentially you are making a third of millions. Yeah, the kid is making a lot of money. You need me to sign the papers. So I gotta get a taste. I want $250,000 otherwise I don’t sign the paperwork. So the lawyer says he said to be when he when we sit down. So what’d you say? I said, he said Mike, what can I say? I said okay, so he prepares the papers, papers get in. The judge signs off. And the lawyer sits back and doesn’t pay now this is in the summer, Gary, when this is all taking place, right? The lawyer tells me that summer passes full passes. Christmas holidays pass. He doesn’t hear anything. He thinks everything is cool. Maybe the judge maybe heard wrong. He was trying to figure out how he could be approached by some judge looking for $250,000. And I mean, just a blatant act of corruption. Maybe he said, Maybe I got it wrong. until two days after New Year’s, the New Year’s holiday when everyone’s back to work. His phone rings in his office, it’s the judge come to my chambers. He walks in, Judge locks the door behind them, walks up to him and now begins to whisper in his ear. Essentially, I haven’t forgotten. Where’s my money? So the guy said, the lawyer says to them, okay, but can we, you know, Can we can we talk about the amount and the judge says, okay, so he, he kind of bargains them down to I don’t know how we got this figure, but $115,000. Don’t ask me why, what that magic number was, but the judge agreed. So now he doesn’t know what to do. He leaves the chambers, he goes to talk to this lawyer, the lawyer brings them to another judge friend to see. And the judge friend says you must have heard this all wrong. This is all your full shit, don’t you know, just don’t worry about it’s never going to happen. So he says to his lawyer, I this guy is wrong. He I was told that I needed to be back in a few days with this money. And and I practice in front of this judge, my practice is in Brooklyn, I don’t want you know, he’s looking, he’s thinking about repercussions for himself if he doesn’t go along with the corrupt judge. So the lawyer sets up makes a call to the Da da makes a call to me. And what we do is we now set up what is, in my opinion, a pretty good thing. We tell them to go to the bank. I’m sorry, we tell them that we’re going to give them $18,000. And why 18 Because if you go and take 10,000 out of a bank, you got to filter you have to fill out a suspicious activity report. So we were wondering if the judge would be sharp enough. If this guy came in with 20 grand and said I went to the bank, he was going to think that maybe there was a suspicious activity report. So we told them to tell the judge, you went twice that a bank took out nine grand each time. And here’s the 18,000. So he agreed, except that we had him wired. We had him wired. And the way that we did this is because with the recording device, we if we had to secreted on him, let’s say in his pocket or in his pants or someplace like that. We were afraid that if the judge whispered in his ear again, we wouldn’t catch the we wouldn’t catch the the conversation. So my my detective friends is sharpest guy that I know, tells me tells him You have a jacket at home suit jacket that you don’t want anymore, says yeah, I got a blazer, he says great. Bring it in. So he brings it into the office. And what my my buddy does is he opens up the seams in the collar. And he puts the recording device into the jacket and runs to white little two little very, very thin wired microphones into the collar of the into each lapel on his jacket. So he would have be able to catch the, the the conversation. We send the guy in. And what we were also concerned about is if if the lawyer walked through the metal detectors in the courthouse with the wires of fun that it would set off, you know. So what my detective friend says is I’ll wear the jacket, I got a shield. I’ll meet you in the men’s room on the other side of the metal detector. And we do that, Gary, we get everything we need. He gives him the 18 Grand we get everything. And we were going to do a second payment. But my boss says let’s not push it. Let’s we got him. We got everything we need. And it’s the weekend of the Martin Luther King holiday. So Monday is a day off. Tuesday morning. My boss says I want you on the scene when we arrest the judge. So I get up. He’s a tennis player, the judge. He gets a very early every morning and to go play tennis. So we sit the detective picks me up we sit across the street from this guy’s house. It’s like three o’clock in the morning. We’re waiting for him to come out of the house. Three o’clock passes. Four o’clock passes. Five o’clock best is no judge. We say oh man, maybe this guy went away for the weekend. Then come back early enough because we had other detectors waiting to stop the car at a certain point. Finally, it’s about five o’clock in the morning and we see a light come on and he comes out and we said oh thank god we were about to give it up. Gary, we were about to go back to the office and say we’ll try another morning. We follow him are the other detectives pulled them over. I get out of the car, we sit in front of, of this kind of shopping mall where we stop them. And the judge says, fellas, fellas, fellas, it’s okay. I’m good. Everything’s good. I’m a judge. He holds out his his identity ID. And we say, we know, that’s why we’re arresting you. And I tell him judge, you’re on the rest get in the car. So here’s the car, we’re gonna drive back to the office that my detective George is driving. I’m in the backseat with the judge. He doesn’t give him his rights. He doesn’t say a word. And I look over about five minutes into the drive six minutes into the drive. He’s sleeping Gary. Sleeping in the backseat of the car. I say, George, this fucking guy sleep. George says, well, now we know that he did it because only the guilty sleep. And I remember this from when my dad is when I was writing homicide duty. And I get to the precinct that I’d say to the detective, where’s the bad guy said he’s in the room sleeping, said Mike, we got the right guy, because only only to guilty asleep at the bed. And think about it. If you’re innocent, you’re gonna be protest protesting. And you’re all wired up. So. So that case, starts us off the data he sent. It’s by the way, the report and it was a big, big daily news, big news story. Today, he sentenced they had cameras in the courtroom, and as a woman at home watching the sentencing. And the next day, she makes a call to our office. And she gets an assistant DA on the phone who was on duty that day for calls like this. And she tells them that she has another judge who she believes is corrupt, and is looking to get paid. And she comes in and she speaks to the A-DEA. He goes through a couple of bosses who are under me, but not he didn’t come to me right away. They said, Well, you know, it’s a judge. He’s a crazy lady. She’s upset. And the point was that he was the judge was supposed to decide on whether or not she was going to get custody of our kids. It was in domestic who was in the domestic court. And her husband, they had gotten a divorce. Her husband wanted custody. She was she was fighting to custody. And while she was sitting in court one day, some guy approached her and said, I know how I can get you to custody. I know this judge. I know a lawyer who knows the judge, you can come and pay me, and I’ll get it to the judge and you’ll win custody. That was the case. So George, I go back to George and I tell him what happened. And he says, he says Mike, let’s do this. Now, Gary, this is a Russian woman from a Jewish Russian woman with a very thick accent who’s pregnant. And she is afraid that she’s going to lose their kids. And I say to George, so what should we do? He said, well, she’s supposed to meet the judge. I’m sorry, she’s supposed to meet the middleman tonight. at his place of business, he owned an electronic store of some kind he was you sold the refurbished electronics. So George said, Let’s wire her up, Send her in. I said George, she’s pregnant, we’re going to send a a woman who’s pregnant into this unknown location. Because we’ll have our guys outside, she’ll be wired, we’ll be listening. If there’s a problem, we’ll you know, we’ll bust into the place. She had the guts, Gary, she had the guts to do it. She wanted to do it. And we got a terrific, terrific conversation with her. And with him and her involving this judge, and a lawyer, who as it turns out, was assigned to be a guardian of her kids. So he was already involved in the case. But this lawyer was the corrupt lawyer who was essentially paying clerks off to get his cases in front of this corrupt judge who he was paying off. So so the whole thing kind of came together. And what we were able to do after putting a wire on the, on the lawyer’s phone, on the middleman is fallen, we were able to get a search warrant, and a wiretap warrant for the judge’s chambers. And we put a recording device as well as cameras in the judge’s chambers. And we had a camera above his desk. In a fortuitously it was kind of accused acoustic tiles, and one corner of one tile was broken. And we were able to put the lens of the camera into that one place. And for the next three months or so we sat and watched this judge commit crime after crime as the crime until we turned the lawyer. We got him one morning and we said to him, here’s the deal. You’re either going to jail or you’re going to work for us. And and he decided to work for us and now we had an insider who was actually paying off the judge and and that case Let us now to the head of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn because the judge was appointed by him to the judge to judicial position. And he said, I can give you the head of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn who was the third member, the third ranking member of the assembly to State Assembly, I indicted him four times convicted him three out of four. And what he was doing was he was shaking down judicial candidates to use people who were his people to do printing and things of that nature for their campaigns. And he and he also said, You’re not going to get my endorsement, which was tantamount to election unless you do this. So he gets convicted. And during the course of the investigation with the judge, and with him, we, we the lawyer was wired. And he has a conversation with this judges consequent judges cousin who is also a judge. And he tells us that he has been he’s a guardian for his old elderly aunt and controlling her money. And he tells the lawyer that he’s been stealing from his head. So So did corruption. Gary was enormous, enormous. I tried all of these cases, convicted everybody. And, and it was, you know, it was something that that by the time I was done, it was almost I shouldn’t say this. As it turns out, it was almost time for me to retire because the DEA at that point was running for reelection again, and we all we ultimately lost. But that was the those are the that was the center of, of cryptid. Brooklyn, there’s one more little piece. And that is actually let me tell you two more live is one on one was also an assembly woman who controlled in New York. If if, if you were going to let’s say in this case, it was a contractor was looking to build a series of homes in her district. And he was looking for the Okay, her Okay, her imprimatur before the city would grant him the license to do this. And she said to him on tape, because he had come to us, and we had wired him up because he knew that she was going to try to shake him down. And she said to him, I’ll give you the imprimatur essentially. But I want you to build me a home. I wanted you to put a fake mortgage on the home so that it looks like I’m buying it from you. But I don’t want to have to pay one cent for this. fit his home. And he agreed and of course, we arrest her. That’s another part of this.
GARY JENKINS 37:37
All right, Michael this has been good. So name off your books, you’ve got several and I don’t have a guest right here in front of me.
Well, the one that the two most recent, most recent is called fallen angel. That’s my first novel. But it involves the cases that are in it. And the crimes that are in it are all cases that were mined. The one before that is homicide is my business, Luigi the Zip. Hitman’s Quest For Honor before that was was the behind the murder curtain. Crooked Brooklyn before that, and friends of the family was the first and I’m about and I just finished Fallen Angel book too. And I’m about to start that will be out in September. And I’m just about to start fallen angel. Book Three, I got a three book deal on fallen angel. Okay. So there are that many cases that I did Gary that I filled three books, but with the with with the with the crimes, you know, and and let me just say one more thing. And it’s and I have two short stories that are available on Amazon for 99 cents, okay. One of them is called Murder on the bridge. It’s about a homicide involving a young woman that I did early on in my career and the other is is about is called hand of the killer. And and it it’s a very interesting story because it turns the whole solving of the case turns on a baby’s pacifier and a palm print left at the scene of this murder by the by the bad guy and and I won’t go into it anymore. I would suggest you know I would really kind of urge you your viewers and readers if they would like to listen to them sorry get them the only 99 cents but I think that they’ll enjoy the stories now of course the books are all available on Amazon and wherever books are sold so and thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to to do for this little ad for my birthday well
GARY JENKINS 39:36
it’s always a pleasure to talk to you Michael I really it’s enjoyable as heck for me especially being a cop and being all around in that and kind of hearing the prosecution side and
Michael Vecchione 39:48
it’s enjoyable for me as well and and believe it or not Gary I got more stories so if you ever have Okay, show to Phil just give me a call and I’ll be happy to come back on.
GARY JENKINS 39:58
All right, Michael back God, I really appreciate you coming on the show, Michael.
Michael Vecchione 40:03
Thank you, Gary.
GARY JENKINS 40:05
Well, guys, that was great. Don’t forget, you know the set, I got a little link to it to the set, be sure give that podcast a shot. And if you’ve got a problem with PTSD, you know, all you got to do is go to the website, the VA, and they’ve got a hotline there. If you have problem with drugs or alcohol, our friend former Gambino member Anthony ruggiano is a drug and alcohol counselor and has a hotline down in Florida. So you could have a real mob guy, be your drug counselor, your alcohol counselor if you want to get in recovery, and I like to ride motorcycles. So watch out for motorcycles and you’re out there in your car. And I really appreciate you coming on the show. Michael, thanks a lot.
Michael Vecchione 40:44
Thank you very much for having me, Gary.