Arrest in 'Goodfellas' 1978 Lufthansa heist - Fox 2 News Headlines

Arrest in 'Goodfellas' 1978 Lufthansa heist

Posted: Updated:
Vincent Asaro, 78 Vincent Asaro, 78
FBI agents escort Vincent Asaro out of federal court in Brooklyn, Jan. 23, 2014. FBI agents escort Vincent Asaro out of federal court in Brooklyn, Jan. 23, 2014.
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - The feds have busted a man in connection the investigation into the 1978 Lufthansa Terminal heist at New York's John F. Kennedy airport.

The FBI said that Vincent Asaro, 78, of Queens has been arrested as a direct result of the investigation. His son was also arrested on other mob-related charges.

More than $5 million in cash and $1 million in jewels were netted in the heist, which took place on Dec. 11, 1978, and was made famous in the 1990 film "Goodfellas."

At the time, it was the biggest heist ever in the U.S. It led to a years-long investigation that hit many dead ends.

Asaro pleaded not guilty in a Brooklyn federal court on Thursday afternoon.

"As alleged, Vincent Asaro devoted his adult life to the Bonanno crime family, with a criminal career that spanned decades. Far from a code of honor, theirs was a code of violence and brute force," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. "Those suspected of cooperating with law enforcement paid with their lives. Asaro helped pull off the 1978 Lufthansa robbery—still the largest bank robbery in New York history. Neither age nor time dimmed Asaro’s ruthless ways, as he continued to order violence to carry out mob business in recent months."

The arrest was reportedly the result of an FBI search last summer at the New York home of James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke. Burke, a member of the Lucchese crime family, planned the crime.

Burke allegedly ordered the killings of anyone who could implicate him in connection with the heists and several people connected to the case ended up dead.

Burke was convicted of murder and died of cancer in 1996.

Burke was the inspiration for the character "Jimmy Conway" played by Robert De Niro in "Goodfellas."

Four other men the FBI says are associated with the Bonanno organized crime family were also arrested on various racketeering, robbery and extortion charges.

Click here to download the indictment (PDF)

Defendants:

Vincent Asaro

Age: 78

Howard Beach, New York

Jerome Asaro

Age: 55

Bethpage, New York

Jack Bonventre

Age: 45

Campbell Hall, New York

Thomas Di Fiore, also known as “Tommy D”

Age: 70

Commack, New York

John Ragano, also known as “Bazoo”

Age: 52

Rockaway, New York


  • Queens NewsQueens NewsMore>>

  • G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:37:26 GMT
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    The MTA says there will be no service between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and Court Square in Long Island City until Sept. 2.
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    The MTA says there will be no service between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and Court Square in Long Island City until Sept. 2.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:45 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:45:49 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
  • Camping without leaving NYC (or even Manhattan)

    Camping without leaving NYC (or even Manhattan)

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:15:28 GMT
    If you thought camping meant leaving New York City, fuggedaboutit. Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan and several other parks in the five boroughs are waiting for you and your family. New York City's family camping program, run by the Parks Department, is in full swing. No cars needed; your MetroCard will get you there.
    If you thought camping meant leaving New York City, fuggedaboutit. Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan and several other parks in the five boroughs are waiting for you and your family. New York City's family camping program, run by the Parks Department, is in full swing. No cars needed; your MetroCard will get you there.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices