35 Years Later, FBI Busts 5 in Goodfellas Heist
5 alleged mobsters taken into custody
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2014 8:56 AM CST
Jimmy "the Gent" Burke is led handcuffed by police in New York, in this April 1979 file photo.   (AP Photo/File)

(Newser) – More than 35 years later, the FBI is finally charging mobsters in connection with the notorious Lufthansa heist at New York's JFK Airport in 1978, a crime made even more infamous by the film Goodfellas. Five alleged mobsters said to be associated with New York's Bonanno crime family were arrested today, Reuters reports. The FBI had been planning the pre-dawn raids for months, following a search last June of James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke's home. Burke, the inspiration for Robert De Niro's Goodfellas character, died in prison in 1996 while serving time for a murder.

The men arrested reportedly include Vincent Asaro, 78, said to be a ranking Bonanno member, and underboss Thomas "Tommy D" DiFiore. The FBI believes Burke was the mastermind of the heist, which was at the time the single largest one carried out in the US, ABC News reports. More than $5 million in cash and $1 million in jewels were stolen, the equivalent of more than $20 million today. Up 'til now, no mobster had faced charges in the heist. An airport worker who helped the robbers was the only person to have been convicted.

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Jan 24, 2014 1:06 AM CST
Tommy "We hit a deer and his paw, what do you call it?" Tommy's Ma "The paw, the paw" Tommy "the paw ..." Jimmy "the hoof" Tommy "the hoof got caught in the grill and I gotta, I gotta hack it off."
Jan 23, 2014 11:49 PM CST
Oh so, you think i'm here to amuse you?
Jan 23, 2014 6:08 PM CST
LOL, took the federal government 35 years. Bet they'll all be dead before they ever go to trial, if they're even indicted. And they're still entitled to bail.