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>>

  • SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:22:53 GMT
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
  • NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:14:16 GMT
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
  • New York's microbrew industry growing

    New York's microbrew industry growing

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:39 PM EDT2014-07-29 00:39:52 GMT
    Local and small beer brewing companies have something to toast. The Brewers Association says microbrew sales grew in the first half of this year; up 18 percent over the same period last year. This comes at a time when overall domestic beer consumption is flat.Ethan Long, one of the owners of the Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City, started brewing beer two years ago.
    Local and small beer brewing companies have something to toast. The Brewers Association says microbrew sales grew in the first half of this year; up 18 percent over the same period last year. This comes at a time when overall domestic beer consumption is flat.Ethan Long, one of the owners of the Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City, started brewing beer two years ago.
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