Bonanno crime family mobster Vincent Asaro has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for ordering mafia underlings to set a car on fire.
The 82-year-old wiseguy was upset after a motorist in Queen cut him off in traffic back in 2012 leading him to seek retribution. Asaro admitted to his role in the attack and pleaded guilty to arson back in June and was sentenced to far more time than what federal guidelines set out as punishment. Prosecutors urged Judge Allyne R. Ross to consider Asaro’s previous conduct and his life in organized crime when determining his sentence. He had just been acquitted back in 2015 in connection with the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist.
According to prosecutors, Asaro has held various positions in the Bonanno family of the New York Mafia over the years and though he is alleged to have engaged in various crimes including murder he had largely managed to avoid being punished. Judge Ross told the court that in deciding on the eight-year term she had given weight to the crimes Asaro was acquitted of in the Lufthansa case that she also presided over. She noted that even though he was acquitted she was firmly convinced that the government had proven its case against him. Asaro’s lawyer Elizabeth Macedonio argued that her client should not receive a lengthy prison term partially based on charges that a jury has already decided were less than verifiable.
Macedonio said in earlier court papers that the case against her client smacked of vengeful blindness by prosecutors who had failed to get a conviction against Asaro back in 2015. He reacted to the sentence with disgust grumbling “I don’t care what happens to me at this point” then looking at the judge and saying “What you sentenced me to is a death sentence anyway.” The judge said, “she had no illusion that prison will result in Asaro’s rehabilitation or bring an end to his “lifelong career as a member of the Mafia” and that he remained dangerous to the public. Vincent who once held the rank of captain in the Cosa Nostra family had seemingly lost a vast majority of his influence over the last few years.