“GOODFELLAS” MOBSTERS ARRESTED IN 1978 LUFTHANSA HEIST
Published on: January 23, 2014
Photography by: by Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty
The FBI says 5 aging men believed to be mobsters have been arrested as party of the 1978 Lufthansa heist at JFK.
The robbery became the stuff of “true crime” legend a being depicted in the Martin Scorsese 1990 flick “Goodfellas”.
$5 million in cash and $1 million in jewels – now worth approximately $20 million -- were snatched from a Lufthansa cargo terminal at John F. Kennedy airport in New York Dec. 11, 1978.
Prosecutors named Vincent Asaro, of Howard Beach in Queens, an alleged captain in the Bonanno organized crime family. Jerome Asaro, Jack Bonventre, Thomas “Tommy D” Di Fiore and John “Bazoo” Ragano – also alleged members of the Bonanno crime family -- were the other men named in an federal indictment.
Reuters reported that the FBI said Asario was arrested as the result of an investigation last summer at the Queens home of James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke (who was played by Roberft DeNiro in the film).
The New York Post reported that at Burke’s home, feds discovered human remains identified through DNA testing as being Paul Katz, who disappeared in 1969 after Burke suspected him of being an informant to the police,
Burke, who remained the suspected mastermind of the robbery, died behind bars in 1996 serving time on a murder rap.
Until the new indictments, the only other person ever arrested in connection to the crime was “inside man” Louis Werner, an airport worker who gave the crooks key information that helped them raid the Lufthansa terminal and escape, the New York Post reported.
Other suspects in the case are dead - from natural causes and other nefarious methods -- with only a fraction of the loot recovered.
The federal indictment alleges that Vincent Asaro, “together with others,” assisted in the brazen robbery. The suspects will be arraigned in U.S District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y.