February 27, 2021 15:59

Former mob underboss dies in prison of several health related issues including coronavirus

NEW YORK — Former Lucchese mobster Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso — a bloodthirsty underboss who was behind dozens of gangland killings and even employed two NYPD detectives as mafia hitmen — has died behind bars after contracting the coronavirus, officials said.

The 78-year-old mafioso — who sought and was denied compassionate release last month — died Tuesday, according to the Bureau of Prisons website and a law enforcement source.

On Nov. 25, Casso’s lawyers wrote to a judge explaining that their client had contracted COVID-19 while serving a life sentence in United States Penitentiary, Tuscon, New York Post reported.

The lawyers also said that the wheelchair-bound Casso had a slew of health issues before he caught the virus — including prostate cancer, coronary artery disease, kidney disease, hypertension, bladder disease and lung issues from years of smoking, the court papers said.

But Brooklyn federal Judge Frederic Block rejected the bid for early release, finding that “in light of the nature and extent of defendant’s criminal history, that he remains a danger to the community.”

Anthony Casso Gaspipe
Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso (Image via New York Post Archives)

Casso — who pleaded guilty to 14 mob murders — infamously struck a deal with crooked NYPD detective partners Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa to pass information about mob rats to the crime family in exchange for a monthly $4,000 salary.

The cops also moonlighted as hitmen for the Lucchese family, and were sentenced to life in prison in 2009 for being involved in a total of eight mob rubouts.

An investigator who covered Casso’s cases described him as “a ruthless homicidal maniac who enjoyed killing.”

Even among fellow mobsters, Casso was known as a “homicidal maniac,” according to the testimony of stoolie Burton Kaplan, who served as intermediary between Casso and the mob cops.

Considered one of the most violent bosses of the city’s five crime families, Casso is believed to have slain at least 36 people, according to the Post.

As part of the plea deal, Casso pleaded to 72 counts on a slew of mob-related charges, including racketeering, extortion and murder.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

 

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