The infamous Lufthansa heist of 1978 has finally resulted in some arrests, according a report from NBC 4 New York.
Five gangsters have been arrested, according to law enforcement sources.
The Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport was worth around $6 million, and is considered one of the largest cash thefts in American history. The infamous heist was allegedly planned by Jimmy Burke, a member of the Lucchese crime family.
The FBI has been searching for something to link the Lufthansa heist to organized crime, and they found a connection when the searched Burke’s former homes last June.
The gruesome connection was some bones buried in the ground that tests showed to be human; but the information about whose remains they are has not been released.
The five suspects were arrested on Thursday morning and are expected to face charges, both in relation to the remains and the airport heist.
Those arrested include Vincent Asaro, 78; Jerome Asaro, 55; Thomas “Tommy D” DiFiore, 70; John “Bazoo” Ragano, 52; and Jack Bonventre. They are alleged to be members of the Bonanno crime family.
In his day, Burke specialized in hijacking, but according to law enforcement officials he was also involved in loan sharking, extortion, gambling and drug trafficking.
He was arrested in 1982 for a parole violation, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his part in a scandal involving the Boston College basketball team. While still in prison, Burke was indicted for the murder of a drug dealer whose body had been discovered in a freezer truck in Brooklyn. For that crime, he was sentenced to 20 years to life for second-degree murder.
He died at the age of 64 while still in prison, twenty years after the Lufthansa heist. The cash from the airport robbery was never found, and so Burke was never prosecuted for the theft. Over the past years. several of the alleged participants have apparently been murdered.