Goodfellas: Vincent Asaro arrested for role in JFK heist

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Mobster Vincent Asaro has been charged for his role in the 1978 heist at the Lufthansa cargo terminal at New York's JFK Airport, a crime featured in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film, 'Goodfellas'.

The 78-year-old was taken in with four other known gangsters, including his son, Jerome, for a long list of crimes, including the Lufthansa heist, during which $6 million worth of money and jewelry were stolen. The five men belonged to the Bonanno crime family, of which Asaro was a captain, according to reports.

The federal investigation became public in June when agents discovered human remains under a house which once belonged to Jimmy 'the Gent' Burke, one of Asaro's contemporaries, and the alleged mastermind of the robbery at the airport terminal. The house in the South Ozone Park neighborhood in Queens, New York, presently belongs to Burke's daughter.

The remains were identified as those of Paul Katz, a man who had stored stolen merchandise for Asaro and Burke in the late 1960s. After Katz's warehouse was raided, Asaro believed he had become an informant and he and Burke subsequently killed him with a dog chain in 1969. They then buried his body under cement at a vacant house. Years later, the remains were dug up and moved to the Burke home where they were found.

Asaro's involvement in the Lufthansa heist is not yet clear, but he was recorded complaining about his modest share of the spoils by an FBI informant.

The only person to have ever been convicted in relation to the crime was Louis Werner, a Lufthansa cargo agent who had gambling debts to off.

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