An investigation into the 1978 Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy airport in New York that was forever immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film Goodfellas has led to the arrest of five men.
Although the indictment is still sealed, one of the men has been identified as Vincent Asaro, 78, of Howard Beach. Asaro has reportedly been linked to the Bonanno crime family and is expected to be arraigned later today.
After the heist, which nabbed more than $5 million in cash and $1 million in jewels, was carried out on Dec. 11, 1978, Asaro was the first suspect charged.
The arrests have been linked to a raid that the FBI conducted last summer at the home of the late James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke. The character of Jimmy Conway, who was played by Robert De Niro, in Goodfellas was based off of Burke. He is credited with planning the heist.
Asaro and the other four suspects are expected to be arraigned at 2 p.m. in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Burke was convicted of murder and died of cancer in 1996. It is alleged that he would usually kill anyone who could link him to the JFK heist.