A series of predawn raids by the feds have led to the arrest of five reputed mobsters from the Bonanno crime family of the New York Mafia. Vincent Asaro was one of the alleged wiseguys to be apprehended who feds claim is a high ranking member of the crime family and is being charged in connection with the infamous 1978 Lufthansa Heist at Kennedy Airport. For more then three decades the feds have been trying to solve the JFK robbery caper and bring those involved to justice. Asaro was arraigned in federal court after his arrest this morning on racketeering charges that included the Lufthansa heist. Asaro will officially become the first ever mobster to face charges for the robbery once the indictment is unsealed. The crime netted over $5 million dollars in cash and approx $1 million in jewels in 1978 equivalent to over $20 million dollars today none of which has ever been recovered.
Also arrested in the raid was alleged Bonanno family underboss Thomas “Tommy D” DiFiore the highest ranking crime family member currently out of prison. Feds claim he was recently elevated to underboss and is a key player in an effort to rebuild the Bonanno family after recent convictions devastated its hierarchy aided by former boss Joseph Massino turning rat. The three other reputed mobsters arrested were Jack Bonventre, Jerome Asaro, and John Rigano and are expected to be charged once the indictment is unsealed later today. Feds said in a statement that the roundup against the alleged Bonanno family members had been in the works for months after acting on new information from a source led to bones being recovered at old residence of former Lucchese family associate James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke. Burke was believed to the the mastermind behind the Lufthansa Heist.
The home now owned by Burke’s daughter was searched and remains were recovered which DNA test matched to that of Paul Katz. Katz believed to have been killed by henchmen or orders from Burke who had reason to believe he was cooperating with law enforcement. Feds have reason to believe Katz was strangled with a chain and buried in a vacant house somewhere else in Queens before his remains were moved to the basement of Burke’s home later because he got spooked by a separate probe being conducted. Feds believe that Burke was responsible for killing just about everyone who could have directly linked him to the Lufthansa robbery. Burke and made famous by the Martin Scorsese movie “Goodfellas” being the inspiration for “Jimmy Conway” the character played by Robert DeNiro. Burke died in 1996 serving time in prison on murder charges avoided ever being charged with any role in the infamous heist.