Tag Archives: goodfellas

Alleged mobster busted in Ozone Park in connection to Lufthansa heist


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

It’s bad news for this Goodfella.

Vincent Asaro, alleged mobster, was busted Thursday morning at his home in connection with the notorious Lufthansa heist as well as over 40 years of crime.

Neighbors of his Tudor Village home in Ozone Park were “shocked” at news of the arrest.

“He’s a really nice guy, that’s all I can say about him,” said Gina D., Asaro’s next-door neighbor.

She said the accused mobster helped her shovel snow and would frequently assist a woman who lived across the street.

Asaro, 78, was apprehended by the FBI in a series of predawn raids on Jan. 23 that nabbed four other suspected mob men.

Several neighbors refused to comment on the incident.

On Dec. 11, 1978, Asaro and others lifted about $5 million in cash and $1 million in jewelry from a Lufthansa Airlines cargo building, according to court papers. The loot amounts to about $20 million today.

The heist, the biggest committed in the United States at the time, was portrayed in the 1990 film, “Goodfellas.”

Asaro, a supposed ranking member of the Bonnano crime family, was reportedly in charge of mob activities at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport where robberies were common.

He’s charged with 13 counts of racketeering, including various counts of extortion, credit conspiracy and theft, according to the indictment.

Asaro is also said to have been involved in the 1980s murder of Paul Katz, who vanished after king pins suspected him of being a rat. Katz’s remains were found when federal agents searched the Ozone Park home of the late mobster, James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke in June.

Jerome Asaro was also taken in and charged for involvement in Katz’s murder.

The pair is additionally accused of burning down a Rockaway Boulevard building and robbing an armored car business for $1 million.

Also arrested was Jack Bonventre, Thomas “Tommy D” DiFiore and John “Bazoo” Ragano, according to the indictment.

 

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FBI searches Ozone Park home of late mobster


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Federal investigators started searching the Ozone Park home of late mobster James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke Monday for “human remains and other evidence,” according to published reports.

Burke, who was famously portrayed by Robert DeNiro in the film “Goodfellas,” was allegedly behind the 1978 Lufthansa heist at JFK Airport, making off with almost $6 million in cash and jewels. It’s believed that Burke murdered several individuals connected to the crime.

According to reports, the investigation is likely not related to the Lufthansa heist.

The FBI confirmed to The Courier that there is currently a search under way regarding an ongoing investigation at 81-48 102nd Road, where Burke reportedly lived, but would not discuss the details.

Burke died from cancer in prison 17 years ago, and the home is now owned by one of his daughters, according to reports.

 

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Henry Hill, immortalized in ‘Goodfellas,’ dies at 69


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Former mob informant Henry Hill — immortalized on the big screen in “Goodfellas” — passed away last night at 69.

TMZ first reported the death.

Hill’s girlfriend, Lisa Caserta told the New York Post that Hill suffered a heart attack in May.

“He went into the hospital and it was really touch-and-go for a long time,” she told the paper.

Hill was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn in 1943 and became involved with the organized crime at an early age.

The former mobster’s life was chronicled in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film “Goodfellas, which Caserta said Hill called “99.9 percent accurate.”

Ray Liotta, who famously portrayed Hill “Goodfellas” tweeted, “RIP Henry Hill. I owe you so much.”