Bonanno family veteran Vinnie Asaro, 81, who walked out of court a free man in November, 2015 was busted just 16 months after a jury acquitted him in the $6 million JFK Airport robbery which was then the largest cash robbery in US history.
Asaro on January 16, 2014, was indicted on federal racketeering charges stemming from the 1978 Lufthansa heist.
During the robbery at John F.Kennedy International Airport, NY on December 11, 1978, the thieves got away with $5 milion cash and $875,000 in jewelery making a total of $21.6 million in today’s dollars.
It was considered the largest cash robbery committed on American soil 39 years ago. It spurned a mythology of it’s own and was the background for two television series, ‘The 10 million Dollar Getaway’ , and ‘The Big Heist’ . The robbery also formed the key element in the 1990 movie ‘Goodfellas’.
‘Goodfellas’ trial ends in triumph for Vinny Asaro seen leaving court in in Nov 2015, after he was cleared of involvement in the Dec 1978 Lufthansa heist at JFK
According to Lucchese crime family associate turned informant Henry Hill, Vincent Asaro a time caporegime in the Bonanno crime family, at the time, oversaw the family’s interests in JFK airport .
However, in November 2015 Vincent ‘Vinny’ Asaro was found not guilty in the Lufthansa heist.
John Gotti, 23, was sentenced to eight years in prison on a pair of Queens drug arrests just last month. He and Asaro were charged with arson, while Gotti also faces charges in a Queens bank robbery, authorities said.
Five other mobsters were named in the newly unsealed Brooklyn Federal Court indictments, and all were taken into custody Wednesday, according to authorities.
Arraignments were expected Wednesday afternoon.
Gotti junior’s famous mobster grandfather, John Gotti, who died in prison
Asaro, 81, was acquitted in November 2015 even though he was captured making incriminating statements on recordings done by his turncoat cousin Gaspare Valenti. One tape captured Asaro griping that he was stiffed of his 1978 Lufthansa share by mobster Jimmy (The Gent) Burke.
“What we was supposed to get, we got f—ed all around,” Asaro complained to his cousin in February 2011. “Got f—ed all around. That f—ing Jimmy (Burke) kept everything.”
16 months into that acquittal, the octogenerian mobster, who admitted that he was stunned by the Brooklyn Federal Court acquittal, is headed back to court to defend himself on more of his mob activities