Lufthansa Trial Gets Underway
The long awaited trial of reputed Bonanno crime family member Vincent Asaro got underway in Brooklyn federal court today. This is the one case in which someone may be held responsible for the 1978 heist at JFK Airport in which $ 6 million in cash and jewels were taken from a Lufthansa facility. The first witness against the 80 year-old Asaro, who also faces charges of complicity in the murder of a suspected informant in the 1960s, was former Bonanno underboss Sal Vitale. A government witness since 2003, Vitale testified how he and his former boss Joseph Massino met with Asaro , who passed them a package containing jewlery. Massino later showed Vitale the loot and said it came from the Lufthansa caper, Vitale told the jury. Tomorrow, Asaro's relative Gaspare Valenti will testify in a big way and I will be there for that! A number of the locations in the Lufthansa story are described in my latest book, Gangland New York.