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Mobster, 82, once charged in ’78 heist at JFK pleads guilty to arson

Posted at 3:26 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 15:26:54-04

NEW YORK — An 82-year-old mobster who beat charges he participated in a legendary robbery has pleaded guilty in an unrelated road-rage arson.

Vincent Asaro entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in New York City. Sentencing was set for Oct. 24.

In 2014, Asaro was charged in the 1978 heist of the Lufthansa cargo terminal at Kennedy Airport. It was considered the largest cash theft in American history and was later retold in the hit film “Goodfellas.”

Asaro was acquitted at trial in 2015 and went free. He was rearrested this year on charges accusing him of ordering the torching of a car driven by a motorist who cut him off in 2012.

Asaro was driving in the Howard Beach section of Queens when another motorist cut him off at a traffic light, prosecutors in the new case said. An enraged Asaro provided the home address of the driver to a Bonanno crime family associate, who recruited John Gotti and another man to douse the man’s car with gasoline and torch it.

The alleged arsonists fled in a Jaguar sedan driven by Gotti that briefly led a police car on a high-speed chase before officers “terminated the pursuit for safety reasons due to Gotti’s reckless driving,” prosecutors said.

Asaro faces up to 20 years in prison.