cloudy
Thursday February 11th, 2016 1:36AM

Indictment in notorious 1978 JFK Lufthansa heist

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) -- More than 30 years after the crime, a reputed mobster was indicted Thursday in the $6 million Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport that was dramatized in the Martin Scorsese movie "Goodfellas."

Federal prosecutors issued a wide-ranging indictment against five defendants, alleging murder, robbery, extortion, arson and bookmaking. One of them, Vincent Asaro, of Howard Beach in Queens, was accused of participating in the Dec. 11, 1978, heist - one of the largest cash thefts in American history.

Hooded gunmen invaded the airline's cargo terminal and stole about $5 million in untraceable U.S. currency being returned to the United States from Germany. The cash was never found. Authorities say jewelry worth about $1 million also was taken.

Asaro is an alleged captain in the Bonanno crime family. Information on his attorney was not immediately available. All five defendants were in custody and awaiting court appearances.

In June, FBI investigators descended on a Queens neighborhood where it's believed the robbery was planned. Agents with jackhammers and shovels dug beneath a house once occupied by the gangster who inspired Robert De Niro's character in "Goodfellas."

James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke, a late Lucchese crime family associate, is said to have buried victims in familiar places - including under a nearby saloon he ran called Robert's Lounge.

It was in that neighborhood that Burke allegedly masterminded the Lufthansa robbery.

A fellow Lucchese associate, the late Henry Hill, described the saloon as Burke's private cemetery. "Jimmy buried over a dozen bodies ... under the bocce courts," Hill wrote in his book, "A Goodfella's Guide to New York."

In June 1980, a human leg bone and a portion of a human shoulder bone were excavated from the bar's basement.

The lounge was purportedly a mob hangout where the airport robbery is said to have been planned by a mobster so accomplished that crime writer Nicholas Pileggi dubbed him a "criminal savant."
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 1 year ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain are emerging
WASHINGTON (AP) — New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain emerged Wednesday as U.S. health officials say mosquito eradication here and abroad is key to protect preg...
6:22PM ( 7 hours ago )
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to help fight the Zika virus
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that spread it here and abroad, but says "there s...
10:40PM ( 2 days ago )
Search for Missouri couple wanted for crimes across the South, including Ga., ends with one suspect dead and the other wounded
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
By The Associated Press
9:57PM ( 5 days ago )
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while, buoying consumers, frustrating oil producers
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
6:18PM ( 1 week ago )
Cruz (R) expected to claim conservative Iowa caucus victory, with Clinton (D) and Sanders (D) deadlocked among liberal vote
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa's Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race.
By The Associated Press
10:55PM ( 1 week ago )