Vincent Asaro an alleged member of the Bonanno crime family pleaded guilty to ordering an arson attack back in 2012.
The 82-year-old mobster ordered a mafia associate to set fire to the car of a motorist who had cut him off while driving in Howard Beach. When talking about the incident in court Mr. Asaro said: “I made arrangements with this person to take care of it and it was done.” A three man crew which included John J. Gotti the namesake grandson of former New York Mafia boss John Gotti carried out the arson attack. Gotti also pleaded guilty to arson charges and admitted to his role as the driver of the getaway car.
In a court memo from March that opposed bail for the Asaro prosecutors claimed that his criminal activities had not slowed with age. They also maintained that he has been a prominent member of the Bonanno family for more than 30 years. Both men are due back in court on Oct. 24 for sentencing and face up to 20 years behind bars for their crimes. Another co-defendant in the case Matthew “Fat Matt” Rullan also plead guilty and according to court documents was responsible for setting the vehicle ablaze. Gotti is already serving an eight-year prison term for a previous conviction for running an extensive illegal drug ring.
Federal Judge Allyne Ross also offered Asaro a chance to change lawyers since his current attorney Elizabeth Macedonio also represents his nephew and fellow mobster Ronald Giallanzo in a separate case. The judge noted that having a lawyer that also represents other wiseguys could make it dangerous for Asaro to potentially become a government witness. She warned that since both he and Giallanzo were both part of the same organized crime family that it had the potential to cause a conflict of interest. But the veteran mafioso clearly informed the court that he was no rat and would never cooperate against his nephew or anyone for that matter maintaining the long held Cosa Nostra code of silence.
Asaro was able to beat 2015 charges for his alleged role in the infamous Lufthansa robbery at Kennedy Airport but wasn’t so lucky this time around.