Eppolito and Bravatti get off light

After five years of legal wrangling, “Mafia Cops” case minor players Anthony Eppolito and Guido Bravatti walked out of U.S. District Court Tuesday free men.

In September 2009, Eppolito and Bravatti were convicted by a jury of federal drug charges – distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine – as part of a larger case that focused on former New York Police Department detectives Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito, Anthony’s father. The corrupt “Mafia Cops” were convicted of charges related to their work for New York’s Lucchese Crime Family.

In a move rarely seen in U.S. District Judge Philip Pro’s courtroom, Anthony Eppolito and Bravatti received substantial leniency after a two-hour hearing involving defense attorney Richard Shonfeld, Assistant Federal Public Defender Shari Kaufman, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Vasquez.

Both defendants had no prior convictions. They received sentences of one day with credit for time served, five years of supervised release with the first six months to be served in a halfway house followed by six months of home confinement.

“The judge took into consideration all the factors, the lack of prior criminal history, and the exceptional family and community support, and fashioned a just and fair sentence,” Schonfeld said.

Call it a little armchair handicapping from a broken-down courtroom wag, but I’ll wager we haven’t heard the last of Bravatti.

Read one of my previous columns on the case.

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