Vincent Asaro an alleged Bonanno crime family mobster has been found not guilty by a jury after a three-week long trial.
Asaro was charged with racketeering, which included claims he helped plan the 1978 Lufthansa Heist at Kennedy International Airport along with murder and extortion. He was found not guilty on all charges in Federal District Court in Brooklyn today. Prosecutors alleged that the third generation New York mafia member had committed murder, shakedowns, and robbery on behalf of the mafia.
The prosecution claims were rejected by the jury dealing an unexpected blow to the Eastern District of New York’s United States attorney’s office. Even with what seemed to be damning testimony from Asaro’s cousin turned rat Gaspare Valenti prosecutors were unable to make their case stick. Valenti agreed to become an informant back in 2008 and wore a wire recording hundreds of hours of conversations with Asaro and other Bonanno family mobsters.
The trial also featured testimony from other NY mafia turncoats including former Bonanno family underboss Salvatore Vitale. Defense attorneys for Asaro seems to have been successful in discrediting the witnesses against their client by blasting them professional rats who testified in exchange for government cash.