The indictments that led to the arrests of five reputed top-echelon Bonanno crime family mobsters has been unsealed and charges laid out. Arrested were Vincent Asaro, Thomas DiFiore, Jack Bonventre, John Rigano and Jerome Asaro. The wide ranging indictment covers a alleged racketeering conspiracy from 1968 to 2013 including charges of robbery, extortion, solicitation of murder, and racketeering. Asaro currently holds the rank of capo in the Bonanno family was charged for planning and his role in the infamous Lufthansa Heist in 1978 and murder of Paul Katz in 1969. Prosecutors did not precisely list what role Asaro might have played in the heist itself in the legal filings. For years it was believed the Lufthansa Heist was pulled off by members of the Lucchese crime family led by associate and mastermind James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke but now prosecutors are convinced Bonanno family mobsters were also involved.
“Vincent Asaro (center)”
The investigation was reopened into the heist in June of 2013 after an informant believed to be a cousin of Vincent Asaro ratted them out. The informant even wore a wire for the feds capturing Asaro complaining about the Lufthansa Heist as in 2011. Asaro is caught telling the informant during a conversation “We never got our right money, what we were supposed to get,” “Jimmy kept everything,” clearly referencing Jimmy Burke. Prosecutors claim that Asaro gave some of the jewelry stolen from the heist to a Bonanno family superior at the time which is now believed to be former Bonanno family boss and turncoat Joseph Massino. Although Massino is not openly named in the indictment information about the informer helping supply prosecutors with information on current case points to him. Prosecutors also claim to have up to four cooperating witnesses from New York mafia families supplying information on the case.
Thomas DiFiore the reputed underboss of the Bonanno family is thought to have been a key player in the crime families efforts to rebuild their ranks and highest ranking members on streets. The Bonanno family hierarchy was devastated by recent convictions aided by former bosses turned rat Joseph Massino and Salvatore “Good Looking Sal” Vitale. The crime family allegedly named a new leader in Michael Mancuso who is still serving out a recent prison sentence. This indictment could be another major blow to the leadership of the Bonanno family taking down some of the crime families most respected members.
“Thomas DiFiore (center)”